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METHUEN    &    GO. 

36     ESSEX    STREET     W.C. 

First  Published  in  igog 







MY     WIFE 

J  I 


THE  principal  authorities,  both  contemporary 
and  modern,  which  I  have  consulted  in  the 
preparation  of  these  volumes  are  mentioned 
either  in  the  text  or  the  footnotes.     I  desire,  how- 
ever, to  acknowledge  my  obligations  to  the  following 
works  by  modern  writers  :    the  Comtesse  Faverges, 
Anne  d  Orleans,  'premiere  reine  de  Sardaigne  ;   M.  A. 
Gagniere,    Marie    Adelaide    de    Savoie,    Lettres    et 
Correspondances  ;  M.  A.  Geffroy,  Madame  de  Main- 
tenon  d'apres   sa   Correspondance   authentique ;    the 
Comte   d'Haussonville,    la    Duchesse  de  Bourgogne 
et   V Alliance   savoy arde    sous    Louis    xiv  ;    Imbert 
de    Saint-Amand,    les    Femmes    de    Versailles :    la 
cour  de  Louis  xiv  ;   M.  Ernest  Jaegle,  Correspond- 
ance   de    Madame,    duchesse  d' Orleans  ;    Theophile 
Lavallee,    Correspondance   generate   de   Madame   de 
Maintenon  ;    M.  G.  de  Leris,  Etude  historique  sur  la 
comtesse  de  Verrue  et  la  cour  de  Victor  Amedee  de 
Savoie  ;    the  Contessa  della  Rocca,  Correspondance 
inedite  de  la  duchesse  de  Bourgogne  et  de  la  reine 
d'Espagne  ;     Viscount     Saint-Cyres,     Frangois    de 
F melon  ;    Luisa    Sarredo,    Anna    di    Savoia  ;    the 
Marchesa    Vitelleschi,    The    Romance    of    Savoy  : 
Victor     Amadeus     and    his     Stuart     Bride  ;     and 
the  Marquis  de  Vogue,  le  Due  de  Bourgogne  et  le 
due  de  Beauvilliers. 



I  must  also  express  my  thanks  to  Messrs.  Harper 
&  Brothers  for  their  courtesy  in  allowing  me  to 
include  two  illustrations  and  several  passages  from 
my  work  on  Madame  de  Montespan,  and  to  Mr. 
Heinemann  for  kindly  permitting  the  reproduc- 
tion of  the  portrait  of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne 
which  appeared  in  the  Correspondence  of  Madame, 
Princess  Palatine,  mother  of  the  Regent,  of  Marie 
Adelaide  de  Savoie,  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne,  and  of 
Madame  de  Maintenon  in  relation  to  Saint-Cyr, 
published  by  him  in  1899. 

Lastly,  I  should  like  to  express  my  appreciation 
of  the  care  which  has  been  bestowed  on  the  Index 
by  Mrs.  Eileen  Mitchell. 

H.  Noel  Williams 

May  igog 




The  Duchy  of  Savoy — Its  prominent  position  in  Europe  mainly 
the  result  of  its  geographical  position — Skilful  conduct  of  its 
rulers  —  Charles  Emmanuel  i  of  Savoy  and  Henry  iv — 
Policy  of  the  latter  prince  towards  Savoy  reversed  by 
Richelieu — The  Treaty  of  Cherasco  secures  Pinerolo  to 
France — French  influence  all-powerful  at  Turin  during  the 
regencies  of  the  Duchess  Christine  and  Jeanne  Baptiste  de 
Savoie-Nemours — Victor  Amadeus  n — His  remarkable  pre- 
cocity and  powers  of  dissimulation — His  dislike  of  his 
mother,  Madame  Royale,  who  denies  him  all  share  in  the 
government  which  she  exercises  in  his  name — His  hostility 
towards  France — The  Regent  arranges  an  alliance  between 
her  son  and  the  Infanta  Dona  Isabella  Luisa  of  Portugal — 
Victor  Amadeus  attains  his  majority  and  postpones  the 
marriage  for  two  years — The  Duke  intrigues  against  his 
mother — Rupture  of  the  Portuguese  marriage-project — 
Negotiations  for  an  alliance  between  Victor  Amadeus  and 
Maria  Anna  Luisa  de'  Medici  abandoned  owing  to  the 
opposition  of  Louis  xiv — The  Duke  is  constrained  to  accept 
the  hand  of  Anne  Marie  d'Orleans — The  marriage  cele- 
brated by  procuration  at  Versailles  (April  8,  1684) — Victor 
Amadeus  emancipates  himself  from  Madame  Royale's 
control  and  takes  the  government  of  his  dominions  into 
his  own  hands  ......  1 


Anne  Marie  d'Orleans — Her  appearance  and  character — 
Meeting  with  the  Duke  of  Savoy  at  the  Pont-de- 
Beauvoisin  —  The  bridal  pair  arrive  in  Turin — Portrait 
physical  and  moral  of  Victor  Amadeus  11 — His  neglect  of 
his  wife — Morals  of  the  Court  of  Turin — Amours  of  the  Duke 
— His  liaison  with  the  Contessa  di  Verrua — Devotion  of 
the  Duchess  to  her  husband — Her  sohcitude  for  his  health 
— She  nurses  him  during  his  serious  illness  at  Embrun  in 
1692  —  Birth  of  Marie  Adelaide  of  Savoy,  the  future 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  (December  6,  1685)  —  D'Urfe's 
letters  from  Turin — Birth  of  a  second  daughter — Chagrin 
of  Victor  Amadeus  at  the  non-arrival  of  a  son — Remon- 
strances of  Louis  xiv  on  his  treatment  of  his  wife — Educa- 



tion  of  the  Princess  Adelaide  and  her  sister — Their  life  at 
the  Vigna  di  Madama — The  Duchess  and  her  daughters — 
Affection  of  the  two  girls,  and  particularly  of  Adelaide,  for 
their  grandmother,  Madame  Roy  ale  .  .  19 


Victor  Amadeus  11  and  Louis  xiv — Incessant  interference  of  the 
latter  in  the  affairs  of  Savoy  and  the  domestic  life  of  the 
Duke — Victor  Amadeus  compelled  by  him  to  engage  in  a 
cruel  persecution  of  his  own  Protestant  subjects,  the  Vau- 
dois — The  League  of  Augsburg — Double  game  of  Victor 
Amadeus — Rupture  between  Savoy  and  France — The  allies 
are  defeated  at  Staffarda,  Savoy  and  Piedmont  are  overrun 
by  the  French,  and  Turin  threatened— Invasion  of  Dau- 
phine  by  the  Allies  fails,  owing  to  the  serious  illness  of  Victor 
Amadeus — Siege  of  Pinerolo  and  Battle  of  Marsaglia— 
Louis  xiv  anxious  to  detach  Savoy  from  the  League — The 
Comte  de  Tesse  —  Secret  negotiations  with  the  Court  of 
Turin — Propositions  of  Victor  Amadeus — He  proposes  a 
marriage  between  the  Princess  Adelaide  and  the  Due  de 
Bourgogne — Secret  visitof  Tesse  to  Turin — Victor  Amadeus 
sends  an  envoy  to  Vienna  to  propose  an  alliance  between 
the  Princess  Adelaide  and  the  King  of  the  Romans — Re- 
fusal of  the  Emperor — The  Duke  resumes  his  negotiations 
with  France — Treaty  signed  between  France  and  Savoy — 
Its  terms — Joy  of  Victor  Amadeus  .  .  44 


Tesse's  mission  to  Turin — Joy  of  the  Duchess  of  Savoy  at  the 
conclusion  of  peace  with  France  and  the  approaching 
marriage  of  her  daughter  to  the  Due  de  Bourgogne — Senti- 
ments of  the  Princess  Adelaide — An  amusing  comedy — 
Reports  of  Tesse  concerning  the  princess — Portraits  of  her 
sent  to  Versailles — Mission  of  MansfeM  to  Turin — Victor 
Amadeus,  in  conjunction  with  the  French,  invades  the 
Milanese — Suspension  of  hostilities  in  Italy — Indignation 
of  the  Allies  at  the  defection  of  the  Duke  of  Savoy — Mar- 
riage-contract of  the  Princess  Adelaide  and  the  Due  de 
Bourgogne — Trousseau  of  the  princess — The  signing  of  the 
contract — Formation  of  the  princess's  household — Great 
and  acrimonious  competition  for  the  post  of  dame  d'honneur 
— The  Duchesse  du  Lude  nominated — Other  nominations 
— The  question  of  the  waiting-women — Victor  Amadeus 
declines  to  permit  the  Duchess  of  Savoy  to  accompany  her 
daughter  to  France — Selection  of  the  envoys         .  .       64 


Reluctance  of  Victor  Amadeus  to  permit  his  daughter  to  set  out 
for  France — TheFrench  escort  leaves  Versailles — Departure 
of  the  Princess  Adelaide  from  Turin — Her  journey  to  the 



frontier — Letter  of  the  Conte  di  Vernone  to  Victor  Amadeus 
— The  princess  at  Chambery — Questions  of  etiquette — 
Reception  of  the  princess  at  the  Pont-de-Beauvoisin — 
Arrival  at  Lyons — Impressions  of  the  escort — The  princess 
is  received  by  Louis  xiv  at  Montargis  — Delight  of  the  King 
— His  letter  to  Madame  de  Maintenon — Meeting  of  the 
Princess  Adelaide  and  the  Due  de  Bourgogne — Arrival 
at  Fontainebleau      .  .  .  .  .  .89 


The  Due  de  Bourgogne — Frenzied  rejoicings  at  his  birth — His 
parents — The  Dauphin  (Monseigneur)  and  Maria  Anna  of 
Bavaria — Total  failure  of  the  elaborate  scheme  for  the 
education  of  Monseigneur — His  singular  character — His  ap- 
pearance— Melancholy  disposition  and  unhappy  life  of  the 
Bavarian  Dauphine — Her  early  death — Monseigneur  and 
Mile  de  Choin — Childhood  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne — The 
Due  de  Beauvilliers  appointed  his  gouvemeur,  and  Fenelon 
his  tutor — Early  career  of  Fenelon — A  born  teacher — 
Saint-Simon's  portrait  of  him — Methods  which  he  pursues 
in  the  education  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne — His  wonderful 
success — Daily  life  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  and  his 
brothers — Their  physical  training — Appearance  of  the  Due 
de  Bourgogne — Aspirations  of  Fenelon       .  .  1 1 5 


The  Princess  Adelaide  at  Fontainebleau  —  Madame  de  Main- 
tenon  entrusted  with  the  supervision  of  her  education — 
Letters  of  that  lady  to  the  Duchess  of  Savoy — Blindman's 
buff — Arrival  of  the  princess  at  Versailles — Decision  of  the 
King  as  to  the  life  which  she  is  to  lead  until  her  marriage — 
She  is  visited  by  James  11  and  Mary  of  Modena — Motives  of 
her  conduct  towards  the  King  and  Madame  de  Maintenon 
considered — Relations  between  Louis  xiv  and  his  legiti- 
mated children — The  Due  du  Maine — The  Comte  de 
Toulouse — The  Dowagcr-Princesse  de  Conti — Madame  la 
Duchesse — The  Duchesse  de  Chartres — The  King  is  com- 
pletely subjugated  by  the  little  princess — His  attentions 
to  her — Dullness  of  the  Court  since  the  conversion  of  Louis 
xiv — The  arrival  of  the  Princess  Adelaide  brings  about  a 
reaction — Amusements  of  the  princess      .  .  .140 


Madame  de  Maintenon — Widely  divergent  views  in  regard  to 
her  character — The  probable  truth — Extent  of  her  in- 
fluence considered — Her  "  life  of  slavery  " — Her  affection 
for  children — She  succumbs  to  the  charms  of  the  Princess 
Adelaide — Education  of  the  princess — Madame  de  Main- 
tenon and  Saint-Cyr — First  visit  of  the  princess  to  that  iu- 
stitution — She  becomes  a  frequent  visitor,  and  shares  in  the 

xii  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

studies  and  recreations  of  the  pupils — Anecdotes  of  her  life 
there — She  takes  part  in  a  representation  of  Racine's  Esther 
— Madame  Maintenon's  views  on  marriage — Her  advice  to 
the  princess  in  reference  to  her  future  husband       .  .     162 


Sentiments  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  in  regard  to  the  Princess 
Adelaide — Fenelon  and  Madame  Guyon — Fenelon  ap- 
pointed Archbishop  of  Cambrai — The  conference  at  Issy — 
The  Maximes  des  Saints— Indignation  of  Louis  xiv — Dis- 
grace of  Fenelon — Preparations  for  the  marriage  of  the  Due 
de  Bourgogne  and  the  Princess  Adelaide — Ruinous  rivalry 
between  the  courtiers  in  the  matter  of  dress — Completion 
of  the  future  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne's  Household — The 
marriage — The  wedding-night — The  ball  of  December 
11, 1697        •  •  •  •  •  •  .184 


Relations  of  the  Due  and  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  to  one  another 
after  their  marriage  —  Studious  habits  of  the  duke  —  The 
princess  begins  to  hold  receptions — Efforts  of  social  aspir- 
ants to  take  advantage  of  her  inexperience— Removal  of 
the  restrictions  hitherto  imposed  on  her  choice  of  amuse- 
ments— She  assists  at  a  performance  of  the  Bourgeois  gentil- 
h  omme — Her  visi  t  to  the  Fair  of  Sain  t-Lauren  t — Her  passion 
for  dancing — She  is  encouraged  to  play  cards  —  Pleasure 
which  Louis  xiv  finds  in  her  society — Her  letters  to  Madame 
Royale — A  water-party  at  Trianon — Consequences  of  the 
King  and  Madame  de  Maintenon's  foolish  indulgence  of 
the  little  princess — Her  conduct  severelv  criticised  by 
Madame  —  A  welcome  improvement  -V-  The  review  at 
Compiegne— Consummation  of  the  marriage  of  the  Due 
and  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  ....     204 


Contrast  between  the  Due  and  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne — 
Attempt  of  the  latter  to  enter  into  the  serious  views  of  her 
husband — She  rallies  him  on  his  gravity,  and  makes  game 
of  him  behind  his  back  — Happiness  of  the  first  years  of 
their  married  life — The  Carnival  of  1700 — Madame  la  Chan- 
celiere's  ball — The  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  aspires  to  fame 
as  an  amateur  actress— A  theatre  is  organised  for  her 
amusement  in  the  apartments  of  Madame  de  Maintenon— •• 
Representations  of  Jonathas,  Absalon,  and  Athalie — Gamb- 
ling at  the  Court  of  Louis  xiv — Losses  of  the  Duchesse 
de  Bourgogne  at  lansquenet — She  is  compelled  to  seek  the 
good  offices  of  Madame  de  Maintenon  to  get  her  debts  paid 



— Her  grateful  and  contrite  letter  to  that  lady — "  High 
play  still  her  dominant  passion  " — She  gets  into  a  serious 
scrape  over  lansquenet — Inj  urious  effect  upon  the  princess's 
health  of  her  insatiable  appetite  for  pleasure— Her  alarm- 
ing illness  in  August  1701    .....     227 


Death  and  testament  of  Carlos  11  of  Spain — Louis  xiv  resolves 
to  accept  the  succession  to  the  throne  of  Spain  on  behalf  of 
his  grandson,  Philippe,  Due  d'Anjou — "II  n'y  a  plus  de 
Pyrenees  !  " — The  new  king  treated  at  the  French  Court 
as  a  foreign  sovereign — His  parting  present  to  the  Duchesse 
de  Bourgogne — His  departure  for  Madrid — Position  of 
Victor  Amadeus  11  in  regard  to  the  Spanish  succession  (1696 
1700) — His  designs  on  the  Milanese — He  seeks  to  obtain  a 
promise  from  Louis  xiv  to  secure  this  province  for  him  on 
the  death  of  Carlos  11 — His  claims  ignored  in  the  First  Par- 
tition Treaty — The  death  of  the  Electoral  Prince  of  Bavaria 
revives  his  hopes— His  indignation  at  being  excluded  from 
the  benefits  of  the  Second  Partition  Treaty — Negotiations 
between  Savoy  and  France  for  the  cession  of  the  Milanese 
to  the  Duke  interrupted  by  the  death  of  Carlos  11 — Anger 
of  Victor  Amadeus  against  Louis  xiv — His  equivocal 
behaviour — He  is  constrained  by  France  to  enter  into  a 
fresh  alliance  which  offers  him  no  hope  of  an  increase  of 
territory  .  .  .  .  .  .  .252 


Life  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne — Brief  period  of  frivolity  termin- 
ated by  the  serious  illness  of  his  wife,  which  he  regards 
as  a  judgment  upon  him — His  increasing  austerity: 
renunciation  of  dancing  and  the  theatre,  and  finally  of  play, 
except  for  trifling  sums — His  piety — His  exaggerated 
scruples — Impatience  of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  with 
the  conduct  of  her  husband — Extraordinary  diffidence  of 
the  duke  towards  women  encourages  her  and  her  ladies  to 
indulge  in  practical  jokes  at  his  expense — Fondness  of  the 
duchess  for  practical  joking — Her  persecution  of  the 
Princesse  d'Harcourt — Beginning  of  hostilities  in  Flanders 
and  Alsace — The  Due  de  Bourgogne  placed  in  nominal  com- 
mand of  the  French  army  in  Flanders — His  interview  with 
Fenelon  at  Cambrai — First  campaign  of  the  young  prince — 
He  is  associated  with  Tallard  in  the  command  of  part  of 
the  Army  of  the  Rhine  ;  but  their  connection  is  not  a 
fortunate  one — The  taking  of  Brisach — The  duke's  intense 
desire  to  see  his  wife  the  true  explanation  of  his  return  to 
Versailles  before  the  conclusion  of  the  campaign — His 
pathetic  letters  from  the  army  to  the  duchess's  confidante, 
Madame  de  Montgon  .....     266 

xiv  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 



Impatience  of  Louis  xiv  to  see  a  son  born  to  the  Due  and 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne — Severe  regime  imposed  upon  the 
young  princess  when  she  becomes  enceinte  in  the  autumn 
of  1703 — Birth  of  the  first  Due  de  Bretagne  (June  24,  1704) 
— Marriage  of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne's  younger  sister, 
Maria  Luisa  of  Savoy,  Princess  of  Piedmont,  to  Philip  v  of 
Spain — The  war  in  Italy  :  Victor  Amadeus  11  generahssimo 
of  the  Army  of  the  Two  Crowns — Consequences  of  his  delay 
in  joining  the  army  and  the  want  of  unanimity  between  him 
and  the  French  and  Spanish  generals — Villeroy  supersedes 
Catinat — Defeat  of  the  allies  at  Chiari — The  Duke  of  Savoy 
suspected  of  having  betrayed  the  plans  of  the  allies  to  the 
Imperialists — His  indignation  at  the  insolent  familiarity 
of  Villeroy — Failure  of  negotiations  between  France  and. 
the  Duke  of  Mantua  for  the  cession  of  Montferrato  to 
Savoy — Offers  of  the  Emperor  to  Victor  Amadeus — Philip 
v  in  Italy — Refusal  of  the  King  of  Spain  to  accord  his 
father-in-law  the  honours  due  to  an  equal  removes  the 
Duke's  last  scruples  about  breaking  with  his  allies — 
Successes  of  Vendome  in  Italy — Negotiations  of  Victor 
Amadeus  with  Vienna — Louis  xiv,  convinced  of  his  treason- 
able intentions,  orders  Vendome  to  take  vigorous  measures 
against  him — Victor  Amadeus  deserts  his  allies,  and  signs 
a  treaty  with  the  Emperor  .  .  .  .288 


Distress  of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  at  the  defection  of  Victor 
Amadeus  11 — Her  apprehensions  that  the  conduct  of  her 
father  may  affect  her  own  position  prove  \o  be  unfounded— 
Saint-Simon's  portrait  of  the  princess — Imprudence  of  the 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  in  her  relations  with  the  opposite 
sex — She  falls  in  love  with  the  Marquis  de  Nangis — Em- 
barrassing position  in  which  this  nobleman  finds  himself 
between  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  and  his  mistress, 
Madame  de  la  Vrilliere— The  princess,  piqued  by  Nangis's 
hesitation  to  take  advantage  of  his  good  fortune,  encour- 
ages the  Marquis  de  Maulevrier — Nature  of  the  latter 's 
relations  with  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  considered — 
Maulevrier  feigns  illness  in  order  to  remain  at  Court — His 
mad  conduct — Alarm  of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne — 
Maulevrier  is  persuaded  to  go  to  Spain,  but  his  indiscre- 
tions at  Madrid  necessitate  his  recall  to  France — The  Abbe 
de  Polignac  first  favourite  with  the  princess  —  Fury  of 
Maulevrier,  who  bombards  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne 
with  threatening  letters — His  tragic  end — Grief  of  the 
princess — Polignac  is  sent  to  Rome  .  .  .     301 




Death  of  the  little  Due  de  Bretagne — Letters  of  the  Duchesse 
de  Bourgogne  to  Madame  Royale,  and  of  the  Due  de  Bour- 
gogne  to  Philip  v — Desperate  position  of  Victor  Amadeus  n : 
Turin  invested  by  the  French  under  La  FeuiUade  — 
Cruel  anxiety  of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne,  who  endea- 
vours to  persuade  her  father  to  come  to  terms  with  France 
— Her  letters  to  Madame  Royale — Siege  of  Turin — Inca- 
pacity of  the  French  generals — Eugene  is  permitted  to 
effect  a  junction  with  the  forces  of  Victor  Amadeus,  and 
inflicts  a  crushing  defeat  on  the  investing  army — The 
historian  Duclos's  accusation  of  treachery  against  the 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne,  and  the  legend  of  the  princess 
having  seduced  the  French  generals  from  their  duty, 
considered   .  .  .  .  .  .  -321 


Birth  of  the  second  Due  de  Bretagne  (January  8,  1707) — Letters 
of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  to  Madame  Royale — Egotism 
of  Louis  xiv — Miscarriage  of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne 
at  Marly  — The  scene  at  the  carp-basin — The  Due  de  Bour- 
gogne receives  the  nominal  command  of  the  Army  of 
Flanders,  with  the  Due  de  Vendome  to  guide  him — Char- 
acter and  career  of  Vendome — Extraordinary  ovation 
which  he  receives  on  his  return  from  Italy — Louis  xiv's 
reasons  for  associating  his  grandson  with  him — Appre- 
hensions of  Saint-Simon — The  cabal  of  Meudon  :  its  ob- 
jects .......     338 


Departure  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  for  Flanders — His  interview 
with  Fenelon  at  Cambrai — Conduct  of  the  Dues  de  Bour- 
gogne and  de  Berry  towards  the  Chevalier  de  Saint-Georges 
— Composition  of  the  Army  of  Flanders — Anomalous 
relations  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  and  Vendome — Posi- 
tion of  the  Allies — Advance  of  the  French — Differences 
between  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  and  Vendome  retain  the 
army  inactive  for  a  month — Occupations  of  the  prince — 
Ghent  and  Bruges  taken  by  the  French,  who  advance  to 
the  Scheldt,  with  the  intention  of  investing  Oudenarde — 
Eugene  joins  Marlborough  at  Brussels — The  Allies,  by  a 
rapid  march,  interpose  themselves  between  the  enemy  and 
his  own  frontier — Battle  of  Oudenarde — Question  of  the 
responsibility  for  the  defeat  of  the  French  considered       .     358 


Efforts  of  Vendome  to  cast  the  blame  for  the  loss  of  the  Battle 
of  Oudenarde  upon  the  Due  de  Bourgogne — The  prince 
seeks  the  support  of  Madame  de  Maintenon — Vendome 

xvi  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

resolves  to  appeal  to  the  public — Letter  of  Alberoni  :  sensa- 
tion which  it  arouses — Letters  of  the  poet  Campistron 
and  the  Comte  d'Evreux — Violent  outcry  against  the  Due 
de  Bourgogne,  organised  by  the  cabal  of  Meudon — Dis- 
tress of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne — Her  courageous  de- 
fence of  her  husband — The  serious  qualities  of  the  princess 
begin  to  reveal  themselves — She  persuades  the  King  to 
exercise  his  authority  to  restrain  the  attacks  upon  the  Due 
de  Bourgogne  ......     370 


Position  of  the  rival  armies  in  Flanders  after  Oudenarde — 
Failure  of  Vendome  and  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  to  appre- 
ciate the  danger  of  the  situation — The  Alhes  resolve  to  lay 
siege  to  Lille — The  French  make  no  effort  to  intercept  the 
siege-train  on  its  passage  from  Brussels  to  Lille — Extra- 
ordinary inertia  of  Vendome — -The  army  of  the  Due  de 
Bourgogne  effects  its  junction  with  that  of  Berwick — 
Character  of  Berwick  —  Antagonism  between  him  and 
Vendome — The  united  French  armies  march  to  the  succour 
of  Lille,  but  find  their  advance  opposed  by  Marlborough 
—  Dissension  between  the  French  generals  :  appeal  to 
Louis  xiv — Painful  suspense  at  Versailles — Agitation  of  the 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne — ThelFrench  fall  back  toTournai — 
Renewed  outcry  against  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  in  France  : 
apparent  triumph  of  the  cabal — Madame  de  Maintenon 
espouses  the  prince's  cause  —  Affair  of  Wynendale  — 
Capitulation  of  Lille — The  Due  de  Bourgogne  sets  out 
for  Versailles — Marlborough  recovers  Ghent  and  Bruges   .     383 


Question  of  the  responsibility  for  the  disasters  in  Flanders  con- 
sidered— The  Due  de  Bourgogne  far  from  being  altogether 
blameless — His  conduct  and  manner  of  hfe  while  with  the 
army  condemned  by  his  friends — His  return  to  Versailles 
and  reception  by  Louis  xiv — He  is  partially  reconciled  to 
Monseigneur — Arrival  and  reception  of  Vendome  —  The 
King  suspends  judgment — Vendome  retires  to  Anet— Out- 
cry against  the  Due  and  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  in  Paris — 
Vendome  is  affronted  by  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  at 
Marly — The  princess  persuades  the  King  to  exclude  Ven- 
dome from  Marly,  and  to  forbid  Monseigneur  to  invite  him 
to  Meudon— Effects  of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne's 
victory — Final  discomfiture  of  Vendome — He  rehabilitates 
his  military  reputation  by  his  brilliant  campaign  of  1710 
in  Spain — His  death  .....     397 




The  winter  of  1 708-1 709 — Misery  of  the  people — Generosity  of 
the  Due  de  Bourgogne,  who  inspires  his  wife  with  a  desire 
to  follow  his  example — Refusal  of  Louis  xiv  to  allow  the 
Due  de  Bourgogne  to  serve  as  a  simple  officer  in  the  Army 
of  the  Rhine — Birth  of  the  Due  d'Anjou  (afterwards  Louis 
xv) — The  marriage  of  the  Due  de  Berry — The  King  gives 
the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  the  entire  control  of  her  House- 
hold .  .  .  .  .  .  .416 


Illness  and  death  of  Monseigneur — Scene  at  Versailles  on  the 
night  of  his  death — Grief  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne — 
Funeral  of  Monseigneur — The  Due  de  Bourgogne  becomes 
Dauphin — Division  of  Monseigneur' s  property— Mile  de 
Choin— The  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  is  accorded  honours 
usually  reserved  for  a  Queen — The  Due  de  Bourgogne, 
encouraged  by  the  dispersal  of  the  cabal  and  the  confidence 
which  the  King  shows  in  him,  takes  his  natural  place  in 
society — His  extraordinary  popularity — His  antipathy  to 
the  theatre — His  projects  of  reform — Change  in  the  con- 
duct of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne — Her  devotion  to 
France — "  I  shall  be  their  Queen  !  "  .  .  .     430 


Letters  of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  to  her  mother — The 
princess  in  very  weak  health— Her  illness  and  death- 
Grief  of  the  Court — The  Due  de  Bourgogne  goes  to  Marly — 
A  touching  scene — His  interview  with  the  King — His  illness 
and  death — The  lying  in  state  of  the  Due  and  Duchesse  de 
Bourgogne — Their  bodies  are  conveyed  to  Saint-Denis — 
Death  of  the  Due  de  Bretagne — Suspicions  of  poison — The 
snuff-box  of  the  Due  de  Noailles — Accusations  against  the 
Due  d'Orleans — -The  probable  truth  .  .  .     450 

Index         ......  .  .    467 


Marie    Adelaide    of    Savoy,    Duchesse    de 

Bourgogne     .....     Frontispiece 

From  the  Painting  by  Santerre  at  Versailles.     From 
a  Photograph  by  Neurdein 


Marie     Jeanne     Baptiste     de     Savoie  -  Nemours, 

Duchess  of  Savoy  .....        io 

From  an  Engraving   by  Nanteuil,  after  the  Painting 
by  Laurent  du  Trie 

Victor  Amadeus,  Duke   of  Savoy  (afterwards  King 

of  Sardinia)  .  .  .  .  .22 

From  a  Contemporary  Print 

Marie  Louise  d'Orleans,  Duchess  of  Savoy  (after- 
wards Queen  of  Sardinia)  .  .  -38 

From  an  Engraving  by  L'Armessin 

Rene  de  Froullay,  Comte  de  Tesse  .     .     .52 

From  an  Engraving  byTARDiEU  fils,  after  the  Painting 
by  Rigaud 

Louis  de  France,  Due  de  Bourgogne  .  .84 

From  a  Contemporary  Print 



Louis,  Dauphin  of  France  (son  of  Louis  xiv)  .      118 

From  an  Engraving  by  Van  Schuppen,  after  the 
Painting  by  FRANgois  de  Troy 

Franqois  de  Salignac  de  la  Mothe  Fenelon, 

Archbishop  of  Cambrai   ....   132 

From  an  Engraving  by  Drevet,  after  the  Painting  by 

Franqoise  d'Aubigne,  Marquise  de  Maintenon        .      166 

From  an  Engraving  after  the  Painting  by  Mignard. 
By  permission  of  Messrs.  Harper 

Marie   Adelaide    of    Savoy,    Duchesse   de    Bour- 

gogne  (at  the  time  of  her  marriage)  .  .       196 

From  an  Engraving  by  Desrochers,  in  the  British 

Philippe  de  Courcillon,  Marquis  de  Dangeau        .      242 

From  an  Engraving  by  Drevet,  after  the  Painting 
by  Rigaud 

Marie    Adelaide    of    Savoy,    Duchesse    de    Bour- 

gogne         ...  .  .  .  .      280 

From  a  Painting  attributed  to  Santerre,  in  the 
Palazzo  Reale,  Turin.  By  permission  of  Mr. 
William  Heinemann 

Abbe  (afterwards  Cardinal)  Melchior   de   Polignac      316 

From  an  Engraving  by  Daulle,  after  the  Painting 
by  Rigaud 

Louis  Joseph,  Due  de  Vend6me  .  .  .      348 

From  a  Contemporary  Print 



Louis  xiv  .......      376 

From    an    Engraving    after    the    Painting    by    Fiter. 
By  permission  of  Messrs.  Harper 

Marie   Adelaide    of    Savoy,    Duchesse    de    Bour- 

gogne,  as  Diana        .....       408 

From  the  Statue  by  Coyzevox  in  the  Louvre.     From 
a  Photograph  by  Neurdein 

Louis  xiv,  with  Madame  de  Maintenon,  the  Grand 
Dauphin,  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  and  the  Due 
d'Anjou  (afterwards  Louis  xv)       .  .  .      442 

From   the   Painting   by   Largilliere,   in    the   Wallace 
Collection  at  Hertford  House 

A    ROSE    OF    SAVOY 


The  Duchy  of  Savoy — Its  prominent  position  in  Europe  mainly 
the  result  of  its  geographical  position — Skilful  conduct  of  its 
rulers — Charles  Emmanuel  I  of  Savoy  and  Henry  iv — Policy  of 
the  latter  prince  towards  Savoy  reversed  by  Richelieu — The  Treaty 
of  Cherasco  secures  Pinerolo  to  France — French  influence  all- 
powerful  at  Turin  during  the  regencies  of  the  Duchess  Christine 
and  Jeanne  Baptiste  de  Savoie-Nemours — Victor  Amadeus  u — 
His  remarkable  precocity  and  powers  of  dissimulation — His  dis- 
like of  his  mother,  Madame  Royale,  who  denies  him  all  share  in  the 
government  which  she  exercises  in  his  name — His  hostility  towards 
France — The  Regent  arranges  an  alliance  between  her  son  and  the 
Infanta  Dona  Isabella  Luisa  of  Portugal — Victor  Amadeus 
attains  his  majority  and  postpones  the  marriage  for  two  years — 
The  Duke  intrigues  against  his  mother — Rupture  of  the  Portuguese 
marriage-project — Negotiations  for  an  alliance  between  Victor 
Amadeus  and  Maria  Anna  Luisa  de'  Medici  abandoned  owing  to 
the  opposition  of  Louis  xiv — The  Duke  is  constrained  to  accept 
the  hand  of  Anne  Marie  d'Orleans — The  marriage  celebrated  by 
procuration  at  Versailles  (April  8,  1684) — Victor  Amadeus  eman- 
cipates himself  from  Madame  Royale' s  control  and  takes  the  govern- 
ment of  his  dominions  into  his  own  hands 

EVER  since  the  days  of  Humbert  aux  Blanches 
Mains  (985-1048),  from  which  the  auto- 
nomy and  history  of  Savoy  may  be  said  to 
date,  that  little  State  occupied  in  Europe  a  pro- 
minence altogether  out  of  proportion  to  its  size 
and  its  resources.  For  this,  of  course,  it  was 
chiefly  indebted  to  its  geographical  position.     The 


rulers  of  Savoy  were  the  gate-keepers  of  the  Alps ; 
their  eastern  gate  gave  access  to  Italy,  their 
western,  to  France  and  Switzerland;  and  their 
alliance  was  constantly  of  vital  importance  to  their 
more  powerful  neighbours. 

And  the  immense  advantages  which  Nature  had 
placed  in  their  hands  the  rulers  of  Savoy  exploited 
to  most  excellent  purpose.  The  centuries  passed  ; 
counts  and  dukes  succeeded  one  another  ;  some 
reigned  in  peace,  others  saw  their  territories  over- 
run by  half  the  nations  of  the  Continent ;  but  all 
seem  to  have  been  animated  by  the  desire  for 
aggrandizement,  and  to  have  possessed  a  remarkably 
keen  appreciation  of  the  marketable  value  of  their 
friendship.  And  ever  the  dominions  of  their  House 
— that  House  which  was  some  day  to  wield  the 
sceptre  of  a  united  Italy — expanded,  now  on  one 
side  of  the  Alps,  now  on  the  other,  since  the  weak 
are  generally  more  crafty  than  the  strong,  and 
the  pen  of  the  diplomatist  often  proves  a  more 
serviceable  weapon  than  the  sword  of  the  con- 

However,  the  acquisitions  of  the  House  of  Savoy 
on  the  western  side  of  the  Alps  were  not  destined 
to  be  permanent ;  and,  in  June  1601,  the  astute 
Charles  Emmanuel  I,  having  come  to  the  conclusion 
that  the  hereditary  ambition  of  his  family  could 
best  be  satisfied  in  Italy,  abandoned  his  dream  of 
ruling  over  a  reconstructed  Burgundian  kingdom 
which  was  to  extend  to  the  Rhone,  and  ceded  to 
Henri  iv  the  counties  of  Bresse,  Bugey,  Gex, 
and  Valromey,  forming  the  modern  Department  of 
the  Ain,  in  exchange  for  the  marquisate  of  Saluzzo 
in  Piedmont,  a  strip  of  country  lying  in  the  shadow 


of  Monte  Viso,  and  communicating  directly  with 
France  by  the  passes  of  the  Brianconnais  Alps.1 

From  that  time,  the  House  of  Savoy  regarded 
itself  as  an  Italian  State ;  and,  if  Henri  iv  had 
lived  a  year  or  two  longer,  it  would  in  all  prob- 
ability have  acquired  a  preponderating  influence 
in  Upper  Italy,  since  there  was  an  understanding 
between  Henri  and  Charles  Emmanuel  that,  after 
the  latter  had  assisted  in  driving  the  Spaniards  out 
of  the  peninsula,  he  should  receive  Lombardy,  in 
return  for  the  cession  of  Savoy  and  his  possessions,  in 
the  East  of  France.  But  the  knife  of  Ravaillac 
brought  this  and  many  other  calculations  to 
naught,  and  it  was  not  till  two  and  a  half  centuries 
later  that  the  hopes  which  Charles  Emmanuel  had 
cherished  were  realised. 

Louis  xiii — or  rather  Richelieu — pursued  towards 
Savoy  a  different  policy  from  that  of  Henri  iv. 
Henri  had  desired  to  make  Savoy  the  friend  and 
ally  of  France  ;  Richelieu  wished  to  make  her  a 
vassal.  Charles  Emmanuel  naturally  objected,  and 
prepared  to  throw  himself  into  the  arms  of  Spain ; 
but,  in  January  1629,  a  French  army,  commanded  by 
Louis  xiii  in  person,  forced  the  passes  of  the  Alps 
and  took  Susa,  and  the  Duke  was  forced  to  sue 
for  pardon  and  embrace  His  Majesty's  boot :  an 
act  of  humiliation  which  Louis  "  made  not  the 
semblance  of  an  attempt  to  prevent."  2 

1  Although  Henri  iv's  acquisition  was  territorially  four  times 
as  great  as  Savoy's,  he  lost  the  footing  in  Italy  which  had  cost  his 
predecessors  so  much  blood  and  treasure,  and  Lesdiguieres  remarked 
bitterly  :  "  Le  roi  de  France  a  fait  une  paix  de  marchand,  et  Monsieur 
de  Savoie  a  fait  un  paix  de  roi." 

2  Saint-Simon,  Memoir es.  Claude  de  Saint-Simon,  father  of  the 
author,  was  an  eye-witness  of  this  episode. 


In  the  early  spring  of  the  following  year,  Charles 
Emmanuel  I  died,  his  end  having  been  hastened 
by  grief  and  mortification,  and  was  succeeded 
by  his  son  Victor  Amadeus  i,  who  had  married, 
in  1619,  Marie  Christine  de  France,  Henri  iv's 
eldest  daughter.  Upon  him,  in  1631,  Richelieu 
imposed  the  Treaty  of  Cherasco,  whereby  the 
fortress  of  Pinerolo — better  known,  perhaps,  by 
the  gallicized  form  of  the  name — and  with  it  the 
entrance  to  Piedmont,  was  secured  to  France. 
This  acquisition  was  regarded  by  Richelieu  as  a 
great  triumph  for  French  supremacy;  but,  though 
it  certainly  made  him  more  formidable  than  ever 
to  the  Imperialists  in  Italy,  France  was  called  upon 
to  pay  a  heavy  price  for  it  in  after  years.  Just  as 
the  sight  of  Calais  in  English  hands  had  been  to 
France  a  constant  source  of  exasperation,  so  the 
French  occupation  of  Pinerolo  was  regarded  by 
Savoy  as  a  national  humiliation  which  must  at 
all  costs  be  removed,  and  until  the  end  of  the 
seventeenth  century  her  whole  policy  was  sub- 
ordinated to  one  object — its  restoration.  "  All 
her  manoeuvres,  all  her  subterfuges,  all  her  dupli- 
cities will  be  explained  by  that.  She  will  leave 
one  alliance  to  enter  into  another,  according  as 
she  believes  that  a  greater  or  less  chance  exists  of 
obtaining  Pinerolo  in  exchange.  Pinerolo,  in  the 
hands  of  the  French,  was,  according  to  the  ener- 
getic expression  of  Carutti,  '  Piedmont  in  servitude,' 
and  from  this  servitude  the  Dukes  of  Savoy  will 
continually  seek  to  escape."  * 

Victor  Amadeus  1  died  in  1637,  leaving  a  son, 

1  Comte  d'Haussonville,  la  Duchesse  de  Boargogne  et  V Alliance 
savoyarde  sous  Louis  xiv. 


Charles  Emmanuel  II,  a  child  of  three,  and  the 
regency  in  the  hands  of  his  widow,  Christine  of 
France,  Madame  Royale  as  she  was  called.1 
Madame  Royale  naturally  inclined  towards  the 
country  of  her  birth,  and  for  many  years  French 
influence  predominated  at  the  Court  of  Turin. 
Her  policy  was  continued  by  Marie  Jeanne  Baptiste 
de  Savoie-Nemours,2  the  second  wife  of  Charles 
Emmanuel  n,3  likewise  called  Madame  Royale,  a 
beautiful,  fascinating,  and  intelligent,  but  dis- 
solute and  unscrupulous  woman,  who,  on  her 
husband's  death,  in  1675,  also  assumed  the  reins 
of  government,  and  was  even  more  blindly  devoted 
to  French  interests  than  the  previous  regent. 

By  his  marriage  with  Jeanne  -  Baptiste  de 
Savoie-Nemours,  Charles  Emmanuel  II  had  a  son, 
Victor  Amadeus  II,  who  at  the  time  of  his  father's 
death  was  nine  years  old.  He  was  a  delicate 
lad — indeed,  during  his  childhood  it  had  been 
feared  that  he  would  never  live  to  grow  up ;  and  he 
is  said  to  have  owed  his  preservation  to  the  good 
sense  of  a  village  doctor  named  Petechia,  whom 
the  Duchess  called  in,  and  who,  having  vetoed  the 
various  drugs  prescribed  by  the  Court  physicians, 
ordered  the  little  patient  to  be  brought  up 
on   the   very   simplest   fare,    and   thus   saved   his 

1  Madama  Reale  ;  but  we  employ  the  French  form,  which  seems 
to  be  generally  used,  not  only  by  French,  but  by  English  historians. 

2  She  was  the  daughter  of  Charles  Amedee  de  Savoie,  Due  de 
Nemours,  who  was  killed  by  his  brother-in-law,  Francois  de  Vendome, 
Due  de  Beaufort,  in  a  celebrated  duel  in  1652.  See  the  author's 
"A  Princess  of  Intrigue  "  (London,  Hutchinson  ;  New  York, 
Putnams,  1907). 

3  His  first  wife  was  Francoise  d'Orleans,  Mile,  de  Valois,  daughter 
of  Gaston  d'Orleans,  brother  of  Louis  xiii.  She  died  a  few  months 
after  the  marriage. 


life.  On  the  other  hand,  he  was  extraordinarily 
precocious,  and  had  already  begun  to  show  signs  of 
a  gravity  and  strength  of  character  very  unusual 
in  one  so  young. 

Samuel  Chappuzeau,  formerly  tutor  to  William 
of  Orange,  who  visited  Turin  in  1571,  was  greatly 
impressed  by  what  he  saw  of  the  little  prince. 
"At  an  age,"  he  writes,  "  when  other  children 
are  scarcely  able  to  express  themselves  intelligibly, 
his  answers  were  astonishing  and  remarkable." 
And  he  relates  that  the  boy  took  no  part  in  games 
suitable  for  his  age,  but  evinced  the  keenest 
interest  in  military  matters,  and  that  he  observed 
him  riding  at  the  head  of  the  regiment  of  which  he 
was  honorary  colonel  with  all  the  gravity  and 
dignity  of  a  full-grown  man. 

Moreover,  as  time  went  on,  Victor  Amadeus 
began  to  give  evidence  of  that  extraordinary 
talent  for  dissimulation  which,  when  he  grew  to 
manhood,  was  to  baffle  the  most  adroit  sovereigns 
and  statesmen  of  Europe.  In  1679,  when  he  was 
thirteen  years  old,  the  Abbe  d'Est^rades,  the  French 
Ambassador  at  Turin,  wrote  to  the  Minister  for 
Foreign  Affairs,  the  Marquis  de  Pomponne  : 

"  This  prince  is  reserved  and  secretive  ;  it  is 
difficult  to  divine  his  real  sentiments,  in  spite  of  all 
the  trouble  that  one  takes  to  ascertain  them  ;  and 
I  have  observed  that  he  admits  people  to  his  friend- 
ship whom  I  am  aware  he  has  regarded  with 
aversion."  1 

This  tendency  was  undoubtedly  fostered  and 
developed  by  the  circumstances  in  which  the  little 

1  Published  by  M.  G.  de  Leris,  titude  historique  suv  la  comtesse 
de  Veryue  et  la  cour  de  Victor  Amedee  n  de  Savoie. 


Duke  found  himself  on  his  accession.  Madame 
Royale,  whose  natural  appetite  for  domination 
had  been  sharpened  by  the  subordinate  position  to 
which  her  husband  had  relegated  her,  seized  the 
reins  of  government  with  a  determination  to  retain 
them  as  long  as  possible,  and  to  follow  the  example 
set  her  by  the  Duchess  Christine  during  the  pre- 
ceding regency,  who,  by  consistently  refusing  to 
associate  her  son  in  the  authority  which  she 
exercised  in  his  name,  or  to  give  him  any  political 
training,  had  contrived  to  retain  a  controlling 
influence  in  affairs  of  State  long  after  she  had 
nominally  resigned  them. 

Victor  Amadeus  11,  however,  was  an  altogether 
different  character  from  his  easy-going,  pleasure- 
loving  father,  and  he  bitterly  resented  the  sub- 
jection in  which  he  perceived  that  it  was  the 
Regent's  intention  to  keep  him.  His  irritation 
against  his  mother  was  intensified  as  he  grew 
older  by  his  knowledge  of  "  the  little  empire 
which  she  possessed  over  her  heart,"  to  borrow 
the  euphemistic  expression  of  her  friend  Madame 
de  la  Fayette.  The  princess's  gallantries  indeed, 
and  the  open  rivalry  for  the  first  place  in  her 
affections  between  two  noblemen,  the  Marchese 
di  San  Maurizio  and  the  Conte  di  Masino,  which 
was  the  talk  of  Turin,  constituted  a  grave  scandal,1 

1  "One  morning,  two  heads  in  wax,  one  representing  the  Duchess, 
and  the  other  the  Marchese  di  San  Maurizio,  were  found  nailed  to 
the  door  of  the  palace.  Instead  of  orders  being  given  to  take  them 
away  quietly,  the  heads  were  left  hanging,  till  some  mischievous 
person  carried  them  away  and  exposed  them  on  a  scaffold,  where 
they  were  smashed  by  a  mock  executioner  before  the  gaze  of  the 
crowd.  .  .  .  Madame  Royale  was  ill  in  consequence."  Despatch 
of  the  Abbe  d'Estrades  to  the  Marquis  de  Pomponne,  published  by 
the  Marchesa  Vitelleschi,  "  The  Romance  of  Savoy." 


and  so  disgusted  the  young  Duke  that  on  the  rare 
occasions  when  Madame  Royale  condescended  to 
embrace  her  son  before  retiring  for  the  night,  the 
latter  was  observed  to  rub  his  cheek  vigorously, 
as  though  he  had  been  touched  by  some  plague- 
stricken  person.1 

Victor  Amadeus  felt  keenly,  too,  the  humiliating 
position  to  which  his  country  was  reduced,  for 
Louis  xiv,  pushed  by  Louvois  and  encouraged 
by  the  complaisance  of  Madame  Royale,  treated 
Savoy  as  an  appanage  of  the  crown  of  France, 
rather  than  an  findependent  State,  and  the 
condition  of  servitude  to  which  he  desired  to 
condemn  her  grew  every  year  more  intolerable. 
The  climax  was  reached  in  1681,  when  the  King  of 
France,  not  content  with  the  possession  of  Pinerolo, 
purchased  from  Charles  iv,  Duke  of  Mantua,  the 
fortress  of  Casale  and  established  a  garrison  there, 
thus  securing  the  free  passage  of  his  troops  through 
Piedmont  and  shutting  in  Turin  on  both  sides. 
To  wrest  Casale  from  France  became,  from  that 
time,  in  the  eyes  of  Victor  Amadeus,  an  object 
second  only  in  importance  to  the  recovery  of 

However,  the  young  sovereign  felt  that  the 
moment  when  he  would  be  in  position  to  attempt  the 
liberation  of  his  kingdom  from  the  yoke  of  France 
was  yet  far  distant,  as,  before  any  steps  could  be 
taken  in  that  direction,  he  must  first  secure  his 
own  emancipation  from  the  tutelage  of  his  mother. 
He  was,  therefore,  at  pains  to  dissimulate  the 
hostility  which  he  entertained  towards  France, 
the  more  so,  since  he  was  aware  that  the  goodwill 

1  Camille  Rousset,  Histoire  de  Louvois. 


of  Louis  xiv  would  be  of  material  assistance  to  him 
in  his  efforts  to  assert  his  independence  of  the 
maternal  control. 

In  1677,  Madame  Royale  proposed  to  her  sister, 
the  Queen  of  Portugal,1  a  marriage  between  Victor 
Amadeus  and  the  Infanta  Donna  Isabella  Luisa, 
only  child  of  Dom  Pedro  of  Braganca,  King  of 
Portugal,  and  heiress  to  the  throne.  A  funda- 
mental law  of  Portugal  prohibited  an  infanta  who 
was  heiress  to  the  throne  from  marrying  a  foreign 
prince  ;  but  Madame  Royale  overcame  this  obstacle, 
by  proving  that  her  son  was  not  a  foreign  prince, 
since  he  was  descended  in  the  direct  line  from  Em- 
manuel Philibert,  who,  in  1580,  had  been  offered 
the  throne  of  Portugal.  The  Regent  was  exceed- 
ingly anxious  for  this  match,  since  the  Portuguese 
insisted  that  both  the  Infanta  and  her  husband 
must  reside  in  Portugal  until  the  birth  of  an  heir, 
an  event  which,  having  regard  to  the  youth  of  the 
parties,  was  unlikely  to  take  place  for  several 
years,  during  which  she  would  continue  to  exercise 
uncontrolled  influence  at  Turin.  Madame  Royale 
forbore  to  communicate  to  her  son  her  plans  for 
his  future  until  the  affair  should  be  so  far  advanced 
that  it  would  be  difficult  for  him  to  draw  back. 
The  boy,  however,  soon  learned  from  other  sources 
what  was  in  the  wind ;  but  his  powers  of  self-control 
enabled  him  to  disguise  his  feelings,  and  he  allowed 
nothing  to  escape  him  which  might  be  interpreted 
either  as  approval  or  the  reverse. 

His  subjects  were  less  reticent,   and  a  strong 

1  Marie  de  Savoie-Nemours,  born  June  21,  1646;  married  1666 
to  Alfonso  vi,  King  of  Portugal,  and  after  the  dissolution  of  this 
marriage,  two  years  later,  to  his  younger  brother,  Pedro  if. 


party  among  the  nobility  could  not  conceal  its 
hostility  to  the  proposed  expatriation  of  their 
youthful  sovereign.  The  Marchese  Pianezza  and 
two  other  members  of  the  Council  of  Regency 
entered  into  a  conspiracy  to  carry  off  Madame 
Royale,  shut  her  up  in  a  convent,  and  declare  the 
majority  of  her  son.  But  their  intentions  were 
discovered  by  the  Regent,  and  it  was  the  con- 
spirators themselves  who  went  into  confinement. 

When  at  length,  in  March  1629,  the  marriage- 
contract  stipulated  in  his  name  was  submitted  to 
Victor  Amadeus,  the  young  Duke  at  first  flatly 
refused  to  sign  it.  But  eventually  he  yielded  and 
agreed  to  ratify  it,  although  he  had  not  yet  com- 
pleted his  thirteenth  year,  the  age  when  the  Dukes 
of  Savoy  attained  their  majority.  Nevertheless, 
if  he  judged  it  prudent  not  to  protest  against  the 
alliance  which  his  mother  desired  to  thrust  upon 
him,  he  was  none  the  less  determined  that  nothing 
should  induce  him  to  enter  into  it ;  and  his  first 
act  on  his  majority  being  proclaimed  was  to  post- 
pone the  date  of  his  departure  for  Portugal  for 
two  years. 

Although  on  May  14,  1679,  the  regency  nomin- 
ally came  to  an  end,  Madame  Royale  continued  to 
govern  with  the  full  consent  of  her  son,  whose 
part  in  affairs  of  State  appeared  to  be  confined 
to  signing  the  decrees  which  she  laid  before  him. 
But,  unknown  to  his  mother,  the  Duke  sent  to  his 
ambassadors  instructions  diametrically  opposed  to 
those  which  they  received  from  the  princess,  and 
worked  in  secret  to  strengthen  his  party  at  the 
Court  and  in  the  country,  which  daily  received 
fresh  accessions. 





The  two  years  of  grace  for  which  Victor  Amadeus 
had  stipulated  expired,  and  in  the  spring  of  1682  a 
Portuguese  squadron  of  twelve  vessels,  which  had  been 
sent  to  escort  the  Duke  to  Lisbon,  cast  anchor  in  the 
harbour  of  Villefranche  ;  and  the  Duke  of  Cadoval, 
in  his  quality  of  Ambassador  Extraordinary,  pro- 
ceeded to  Turin,  where  he  met  with  a  very  flattering 
reception  from  the  Regent.  However,  the  national 
party  was  resolved  to  prevent,  even  by  force,  the 
departure  of  their  young  sovereign ;  and  Victor 
Amadeus,  encouraged  by  its  attitude,  was  suddenly 
seized  with  a  diplomatic  illness,  which  the  Court 
physicians  declared  would  render  it  impossible  for 
him  to  undertake  the  voyage  for  some  months  at 

Madame  Royale,  in  despair  at  the  threatened 
failure  of  her  machinations,  assured  Cadoval  that 
the  physicians  exaggerated  the  gravity  of  her  son's 
condition,  and  implored  him  to  wait  until  he 
should  be  restored  to  health.  But  Cadoval,  who 
had  become  aware  of  the  hostility  with  which  a 
considerable  party  at  the  Court  regarded  the  pro- 
jected marriage,  and  had  a  shrewd  suspicion  of 
the  nature  of  the  Duke's  illness,  replied  that  he 
must  seek  instructions  from  Lisbon.  These  were 
of  such  a  nature  that  immediately  he  received  them 
he  quitted  Turin,  without  even  taking  leave  of 
Madame  Royale,  and  on  October  1  set  sail  for 

The  rupture  of  the  Portuguese  marriage-project 
was  followed  by  two  comparatively  uneventful 
years,  during  which  Madame  Royale  continued  to 
govern,  without,  so  far  as  appearances  went,  any 
opposition  from  her  son,  who  judged  the  time  had 


not  yet  come  to  strike  a  blow  for  his  independence. 
In  secret,  however,  the  young  Duke  continued  to 
work  to  strengthen  the  hands  of  his  party,   and 
kept  a  very  watchful  eye  on  the  actions  of  his 
mother,  whose  rule  he  perceived,  with  great  satis- 
faction, was  becoming  more  and  more  unpopular. 
Meanwhile,   the    Ministers    had    been    urging    the 
advisability   of    rinding    a    suitable    bride    for    the 
Duke,    and   in    1684    they    proposed    a    marriage 
between  him  and  Maria  Anna  Luisa,  the  daughter 
of  Cosmo  in,  Grand-Duke  of  Tuscany.     Such  an 
alliance   they  represented  would  be  of  great  ad- 
vantage to  Savoy,  since  it  would  secure  to  her  an 
ally  in  Central  Italy,  whose  assistance  might  prove 
of   the   highest   value   against   foreign  adversaries. 
Victor  Amadeus  was  favourably  disposed  to   the 
project,  as  was  the  Grand-Duke  of  Tuscany,   but 
both   were   very   doubtful  as   to   how   the   matter 
would  be  regarded  by  France  ;    and  negotiations 
between  the  Courts  of  Turin  and  Florence  were 
carried  on  with  such  secrecy,  lest  any  inkling  of 
what  was  under  consideration  should  reach  Ver- 
sailles, that  no  trace  of  them  are  to  be  found  in  the 
Archives  of  either  city. 

However,  Madame  Roy  ale,  who  had  been  fever- 
ishly anxious  for  her  son's  marriage  when  such  an 
event  would  have  necessitated  his  prolonged 
absence  from  Savoy,  viewed  the  prospect  of  one 
which  would  probably  entail  his  immediate  emanci- 
pation from  her  authority  with  very  different 
feelings,  and  strove  by  every  means  to  hinder  the 
negotiations,  which  it  was  of  the  utmost  importance 
to  conclude  with  the  least  possible  delay.  The 
time  thus  wasted  enabled  France  to  discover  the 


project.  Louis  xiv,  who  did  not  conceal  his  dis- 
pleasure on  learning  that  the  House  of  Savoy  was 
contemplating  an  alliance  which  suggested  a  desire 
to  free  itself  from  his  control,  immediately  resolved 
to  intervene  ;  and,  on  the  pretext  of  strengthening 
the  authority  of  the  Regent,  threatened  by  the 
friction  between  her  and  the  chiefs  of  the  national 
party,  Louvois  gave  orders  for  three  thousand 
French  troops  to  cross  the  frontier  into  Piedmont. 

Madame  Royale  expostulated  vigorously  against 
this  high-handed  action,  being  well  aware  that  the 
arrival  of  foreign  troops  would  be  the  death-blow 
of  the  little  popularity  that  remained  to  her.  But 
her  remonstrances  came  too  late  ;  the  French  had 
already  entered  Piedmont,  and  there  Louis  xiv 
intended  them  to  remain  until  the  Tuscan  marriage 
had  been  definitely  abandoned.  At  the  same 
time,  the  French  Ambassador  at  Turin  intimated 
to  the  Regent  that  it  was  his  master's  desire  that 
her  son  should  wed  a  princess  of  the  Royal  House 
of  France. 

Perceiving  the  futility  of  persisting  in  a  course 
which  would  end  by  entirely  alienating  his  all- 
powerful  neighbour  and  bringing  about  the  ruin  of 
his  country,  Victor  Amadeus  summoned  the  French 
Ambassador  to  a  secret  audience,  and  informed 
him  that  he  had  definitely  abandoned  his  intention 
of  marrying  the  daughter  of  the  Grand-Duke  of 
Tuscany,  and  was  prepared  to  accept  the  hand  of 
the  princess  whom  it  might  please  his  Most  Christian 
Majesty  to  choose  for  him.  Louis  xiv,  however, 
had  not  even  waited  for  this  surrender  to  his  will 
to  choose  the  princess  who  was  to  become  the 
future  Duchess  of  Savov,  and  the  Duke  was  forth- 


with  informed  that  a  demand  for  the  hand  of 
Anne  Marie  d' Orleans,  the  second  daughter  of 
Monsieur1  by  his  first  wife,  the  beautiful  and 
ill-fated  Henrietta  of  England,  immortalised  by 
Bossuet,  would  meet  with  favourable  consideration. 

Madame  Royale  endeavoured  to  prolong  her 
tenure  of  power  by  delaying  the  nuptials,  and 
instructed  the  Marchese  Ferrero  della  Marmora, 
the  Ambassador  of  Savoy  at  Versailles,  to  represent 
to  Louis  xiv  all  the  satisfaction  and  gratitude 
which  she  experienced  at  the  prospect  of  this 
alliance,  but  to  inform  him  that  the  Duke  had  no 
intention  of  marrying  at  present,  "  since  there  was 
no  example  of  a  prince  who  had  done  so  at  so 
early  an  age."  Such  a  line  of  argument  from  a 
princess  who  had  left  no  stone  unturned  to  push 
her  son  into  matrimony  two  years  before  must 
have  caused  His  Excellency  no  small  amusement. 
But  Victor  Amadeus  sent  him  secret  orders  to 
hasten  the  marriage  by  every  possible  means ;  and, 
being  a  prudent  man,  he  not  unnaturally  preferred 
to  serve  the  interests  of  the  rising  rather  than  of  the 
waning  star,  with  the  result  that  the  preliminaries 
were  settled  in  a  surprisingly  short  space  of  time,  and 
on  April  8, 1684,  the  nuptials  of  "the  demoiselle  Anne 
d' Orleans  with  the  very  high  and  puissant  prince, 
Victor  Amadeus,  Duke  of  Savoy,"  were  celebrated 
by  procuration,  at  Versailles,  with  great  splendour. 

The  bride  presented  herself  at  the  altar  escorted 
by  the  Duke  du  Maine,  eldest  son  of  Louis  xiv 

1  Philippe,  Due  d'Orleans,  younger  son  of  Louis  xm  and  Anne 
of  Austria,  and  only  brother  of  Louis  xiv.  Born  1640 ;  married, 
firstly,  in  1660,  Henrietta  of  England,  daughter  of  Charles  1  ; 
secondly,  in  167 1,  Elizabeth  Charlotte  of  Bavaria,  Princess 
Palatine  ;  died  1701. 


and  Madame  de  Montespan,  and  the  Conte  di 
Magliano,  Envoy-Extraordinary  of  Savoy.  She  was 
dressed  in  "  a  silver  brocade  trimmed  with  lace, 
also  of  silver,  and  covered  with  jewels,"  the  train 
of  which,  borne  by  her  half-sister,  Mile,  de  Chartres, 
was  nine  ells  in  length.  The  princes  and  princesses 
who  assisted  at  the  ceremony  were  dressed  with 
equal  magnificence,  notwithstanding  that  the  Court 
was  still  in  mourning  for  the  late  Queen,  Maria 
Theresa  of  Austria.  "  Of  all  the  august  personages, 
the  King  and  the  Dauphin,  on  account  of  their 
mourning,1  alone  wore  no  jewels;  the  rest  of  the 
company,  though  dressed  in  mourning,  were  covered 
with  jewels.  The  Duke  du  Maine  wore  a  black  Vene- 
tian costume,  the  whole  of  which  was  ornamented 
with  diamonds ;  the  trimmings  were  of  narrow  rose- 
coloured  ribbons  ;  the  feathers  in  his  cap  were  of 
the  same  colour,  covered  with  diamonds.  Nothing 
could  be  more  magnificent  than  the  dress  of  Madame 
la  Dauphine.2  Monsieur's  waistcoat  was  entirely 
covered  with  diamonds,  tied  by  strings  formed  of 
diamonds.  The  Duke  de  Chartres  had  a  set  of 
emeralds;  and  his  crape  shoulder-knot,  as  well  as 
the  bow  in  his  cap,  sparkled  with  diamonds.  The 
Prince  de  Conti  had  diamond  buckles  on  his 
waistcoat.      The    Comte    de    Toulouse,3    Mile,    de 

1  The  mourning  of  the  Royal  Family  was,  of  course,  violet,  not 
black.  Up  to  1 80 1,  when  the  title  of  sovereign  of  France  was  relin- 
quished, the  Kings  of  England  also  mourned  in  violet,  because  they 
claimed  to  be  Kings  of  France.  James  11,  even  when  the  guest  of 
Louis  xiv  at  Saint-Germain,  adhered  to  this  custom. 

2  Maria  Anna  Christina  Victoriaof  Bavaria.  Born,  1660;  married 
1680,  to  Louis,  Dauphin  of  France  ;  died  1690. 

3  Louis  Alexandre  de  Bourbon,  the  youngest  son  of  Louis  xiv  and 
Madame  de  Montespan.  Born  in  1678  ;  married  in  1728  to  Mile,  de 
Noailles,  widow  of  the  Marquis  de  Gondrin  ;  died  1737. 

1 6  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

Nantes,1  and  Mile,  de  Blois,2  owing  to  their  youth, 
were  not  required  to  appear  in  deep  mourning  ; 
they  wore  costumes  of  black  and  silver,  and  their 
jewels  were  arranged  in  such  good  taste  that  they 
aroused  murmurs  of  admiration  on  all  sides. 

"  It  is  a  long  time,"  wrote  Ferrero  to  the  Duke 
of  Savoy,  "  since  such  magnificence  and  an  assembly 
so  noble  and  numerous  as  this  one  has  been  seen." 

Victor  Amadeus  sent  his  bride  some  magnificent 
jewels,  which  included  a  pearl-necklace  valued  at 
30,000  pistoles  (about  300,000  francs),  a  diamond 
pendant,  and  a  diamond- clasp,  which  Ferrero 
assures  the  Duke  created  such  a  sensation  at  the 
Court  of  France,  that  the  King  himself  had  praised 
the  good  taste  shown  in  their  selection,  and  spoken 
of  these  objects  as  truly  superb  and  worthy  of  the 
occasion."  And  the  Ambassador  profited  by  his 
Majesty's  satisfaction  to  secure  an  order  on  the 
Treasury  for  100,000  livres  on  account  of  the 
princess's  dowry,3  which  he  lost  no  time  in  con- 
verting into  cash,  his  master's  finances  being  just 
then  in  a  far  from  satisfactory  condition.4 

The  marriage-contract  credited  Victor  Amadeus 

1  Louise  Francoise  de  Bourbon,  second  daughter  of  Louis  xiv 
and  Madame  de  Montespan.  Born  1673;  married  1685,  to  the 
Due  de  Bourbon  ;  died  in  1743. 

2  Francoise  Marie  de  Bourbon,  youngest  daughter  of  Louis  xiv 
and  Madame  de  Montespan.  Born  1677  ;  married  1692,  to  the  Due 
de  Chartres  (the  future  Regent)  ;   died  in  1749. 

3  Louis  xiv  gave  his  niece  a  dowry  of  900,000  livres,  to  which  he 
added  jewellery  to  the  value  of  60,000  livres,  and  240,000  livres 
previously  deducted  from  the  dowry  of  her  mother,  Henrietta  of 
England.  Victor  Amadeus,  in  addition  to  the  jewellery  above 
mentioned,  assured  his  consort  an  annual  pension  of  100,000  livres 
and  a  dowry  of  40,000  livres. 

4  Dangeau,  Journal  ;    Comtesse  de    Faverges,   Anne   d'OrlSans  ; 
Gagniere,  Marie  Adelaide  de  Savoie  :  Lettres  et  correspondances. 


with  sentiments  in  regard  to  France  which*  that 
prince  was  very  far  from  entertaining,  and  Louis  xiv 
with  a  confidence  in  his  new  nephew's  amicable 
intentions  which  is  difficult  to  reconcile  with  the 
instructions  he  sent  his  Ambassador  at  Turin.  But, 
if  the  autocrat  of  Versailles  had  not  the  smallest 
intention  of  acting  in  accordance  with  his  declara- 
tion that  "  no  one  could  doubt  that  the  very  high 
and  puissant  Princess,  Marie  Jeanne  Baptiste  de 
Nemours  had  succeeded  in  inspiring  her  son  with 
the  same  sentiments  towards  the  interests  of  his 
Majesty  which  she  had  shown  during  the  period  of 
her  regency,"  he  was  undoubtedly  well  satisfied 
with  the  match,  which  not  only  frustrated  an 
alliance  that  might  have  gone  far  to  neutralise 
the  advantage  he  derived  from  the  possession  of 
Pinerolo  and  Casale,  but  afforded  him,  on  the 
score  of  relationship,  an  excellent  pretext  for 
interfering  in  the  internal  affairs  of  Savoy. 

Victor  Amadeus  had  much  less  cause  for  satis- 
faction. Nevertheless,  the  mortification  which  he 
experienced  at  finding  himself  compelled,  for 
some  time  at  least,  to  continue  the  subservience 
towards  France  which  his  father  and  grandfather 
had  shown,  was  sensibly  modified  by  the  knowledge 
that  his  marriage  with  a  niece  of  Louis  xiv  assured 
his  determination  to  emancipate  himself  from  the 
control  of  his  mother  meeting  with  no  opposition 
from  that  quarter. 

In  this  persuasion,  no  sooner  had  he  learned 
that  the  negotiations  for  the  marriage  had  been 
concluded  than  he  summoned  two  of  his  con- 
federates, the  Principe  della  Cisterna  and  the 
Abbate    della    Torre,    with    whose    assistance    he 

18  A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

drew  up  and  despatched  to  the  Ministers  and 
principal  officials  of  the  duchy  a  letter,  where- 
in he  informed  them  that,  from  the  day  of  his 
marriage,  it  was  his  intention  to  take  upon  himself 
the  entire  direction  of  affairs,  and  that  henceforth 
they  must  address  themselves  to  him  alone.  This 
done,  he  withdrew,  under  the  pretext  of  a  hunting- 
party,  to  his  country-residence  at  Rivoli,  accom- 
panied by  his  Guards  and  a  number  of  his  partisans, 
and  prepared  for  a  coup  d'etat.  Such  a  scandal, 
however,  was  fortunately  averted  by  the  prudent 
conduct  of  Madame  Royale,  who,  warned  of  her 
son's  intentions  and  recognising  that  her  power 
was  at  an  end,  forestalled  the  announcement  she 
had  so  long  dreaded  by  an  affectionate  letter,  in 
which  she  stated  that,  as  the  day  of  his  marriage 
was  at  hand,  and  as  he  had  already  attained  an 
age  when  he  was  capable  of  assuming  the  reins  of 
government,  she  craved  his  permission  to  remit 
them  into  his  hands. 

Thus  ended  the  regency  of  Jeanne-Baptiste 
de  Savoie-Nemours,  which  has  been  eulogised  by 
politicians  and  historians  who  deem  peace  cheaply 
purchased  at  the  price  of  a  nation's  honour,  but 
which  most  students  of  the  history  of  Savoy  re- 
gard as  a  discreditable  page  in  the  annals  of  a  brave 
and  patriotic  people. 


Anne  Marie  d'Orleans — Her  appearance  and  character — Meeting 
with  the  Duke  of  Savoy  at  the  Pont-de-Beauvoisin— The  bridal  pair 
arrive  in  Turin — Portrait  physical  and  moral  of  Victor  Amadeus  n 
— His  neglect  of  his  wife — Morals  of  the  Court  of  Turin — Amours 
of  the  Duke — His  liaison  with  the  Contessa  di  Verrua — Devotion 
of  the  Duchess  to  her  husband — Her  solicitude  for  his  health — 
She  nurses  him  during  his  serious  illness  at  Embrun  in  1692 — 
Birth  of  Marie  Adelaide  of  Savoy,  the  future  Duchesse  de  Bour- 
gogne  (December  6,  1685) — D'Urfe's  letters  from  Turin — Birth 
of  a  second  daughter — Chagrin  of  Victor  Amadeus  at  the  non 
arrival  of  a  son — Remonstrances  of  Louis  xiv  on  his  treatment 
of  his  wife — Education  of  the  Princess  Adelaide  and  her  sister 
—  Their  life  at  the  Vigna  di  Madama  —  The  Duchess  and  her 
daughters — Affection  of  the  two  girls,  and  particularly  of  Adelaide, 
for  their  grandmother,  Madame  Roy  ale 

ANNE  MARIE  D'ORLEANS,  who  was  born 
on  May  n,  1669,  was  scarcely  twelve 
months  old  when  she  lost  her  mother, 
Henrietta  of  England,1  and  it  was  her  father's 
second  wife,  Elizabeth  Charlotte  of  Bavaria, 
daughter  of  Charles  Louis,  Elector  Palatine,2  who 
charged  herself  with  the  care  of  the  little  orphan 
and  of  her  elder  sister,  Marie  Louise  d'Orleans,  who 
in  1679  became  the  consort  of  Carlos  II,  King  of 

That   honest   and   good-hearted,    if   somewhat 
choleric,    German    princess    fulfilled    her    difficult 

1  Henrietta  Stuart  died  at  Saint-Cloud  on  June  30,  1670. 

2  Elizabeth  Charlotte,  Duchesse  d'Orleans,  is  often  called  the 
Princess  Palatine,  to  distinguish  her  from  Henrietta  of  England. 



task  in  a  manner  worthy  of  the  highest  praise,  and 
under  her  firm  yet  kindly  guidance  the  two  children 
grew  into  charming,  accomplished,  and  high- 
principled  girls,  regarded  with  affection  and  respect 
by  all  who  knew  them. 

Anne  d' Orleans  could  not  pretend  to  either  the 
beauty  or  the  intelligence  which  distinguished  the 
Queen  of  Spain,  but  she  was,  nevertheless,  a  far 
from  unattractive  young  lady.  At  the  time  of  her 
marriage,  when  she  was  within  a  month  of  com- 
pleting her  fifteenth  year,  she  is  described  as  tall 
and  graceful,  with  black  hair  falling  in  long  curls 
upon  white  and  shapely  shoulders,  an  oval  face, 
a  high  forehead,  an  aquiline  nose,  smiling  lips, 
and  "  an  air  of  dignity  tempered  by  an  expression 
of  goodness."  Her  countenance  did  not  belie  her 
character,  for  her  stepmother,  the  second  Madame — 
no  mean  judge  of  her  own  sex  by  the  way — describes 
her  as  "  one  of  the  most  amiable  and  virtuous 
of  women,"  and  speaks  in  high  terms  of  her  tact 
and  good  sense ;  and,  indeed,  her  subsequent 
career  proves  her  to  have  been  a  woman  of  a 
singularly  sweet  and  gentle  disposition. 

Immediately  after  the  marriage  the  princess 
set  out  for  Turin,  and  on  Mav  6  reached  the  Pont- 
de-Beauvoisin,  which  at  this  period  marked  the 
boundary  between  Dauphine  and  Savoy,1  where 
she  was  met  by  Victor  Amadeus,  at  the  head  of 
his  military  household,  "  en  grande  parade  et  tym- 
bales  sonnantes,"  escorted  by  a  great  number  of 
Savoyard  and  Piedmontese  gentlemen. 

1  The  Pont-de-Beauvoisin  was  a  village  situated  on  the  little 
river  Guiers.  A  narrow  bridge,  from  which  it  derived  its  name, 
crossed  the  river,  the  western  half  of  the  bridge  being  considered 
French  territory  and  the  eastern  Savoyard. 


The  young  Duchess,  it  is  related,  had  been 
carefully  instructed  by  the  Conte  di  Magliano, 
the  Envoy-Extraordinary  of  Savoy,  in  regard  to 
the  formalities  which  it  was  necessary  to  observe 
on  this  important  occasion  ;  but,  when  she  per- 
ceived her  husband,  she  promptly  forgot  all  that 
the  worthy  count  had  been  at  such  pains  to  impress 
upon  her,  and,  hastening  forward,  threw  herself 
into  his  arms.  This  bold  disregard  of  etiquette 
greatly  shocked  the  more  punctilious  members  of 
his  Highness' s  entourage,  who  could  not  conceal 
their  disapproval.  But  the  Duke,  charmed  and 
touched  by  the  action,  embraced  his  wife  tenderly, 
"  and  they  exchanged  for  some  moments,"  writes 
an  eye-witness,  "  those  first  sentiments  which  beat 
in  every  heart."  * 

The  same  evening,  the  bridal  pair  arrived  at 
Chambery,  where,  in  the  chapel  of  the  ancient 
chateau,  the  Archbishop  of  Grenoble  pronounced 
the  nuptial  blessing  upon  them,  and  two  days  later, 
at  two  o'clock  in  the  morning,  made  their  entry 
into  Turin,  amid  great  rejoicings. 

At  the  time  when  he  married  Anne  d' Orleans 
and  assumed  the  government  of  his  dominions, 
Victor  Amadeus  n  was  just  eighteen,  but,  thanks 
to  the  peculiar  circumstances  in  which  his  lot 
had  been  cast,  already  possessed  of  a  fund  of 
worldly  wisdom  which  many  a  prince  of  mature 
years  might  have  envied.  His  appearance  was 
certainly  very  striking  :  "Of  middle  height, 
slender,  admirably  made.     A  bearing  which  denoted 

1  Letter  of  the  Conte  Scaravelli,  gentleman  of  the  Chamber  to 
Victor  Amadeus  n,  cited  by  the  Comtesse  de  Fa  verges,  Anne 


independence  and  pride,  an  animated  expression, 
aquiline  features.  He  had  inherited  from  the 
House  of  Nemours  very  fair  hair  and  eyes  of  a 
peculiar  shade  of  blue  and  of  exceptional  vivacity."  1 

His  character,  according  to  a  contemporary, 
whose  account,  though  a  trifle  highly  -  coloured 
here  and  there,  is  in  the  main  corroborated  by  the 
events  of  the  Duke's  life,  was  even  more  remarkable, 
though  far  less  pleasing. 

"  He  is  a  prince  with  many  good  and  an  infinite 
number  of  bad  qualities.  He  has  a  vivid  imagina- 
tion, an  admirable  memory,  a  great  facility  of  ex- 
pression, a  serious  application  for  affairs,  ambition, 
a  desire  for  fame,  and  an  incomparable  dexterity 
in  concealing  his  designs.  But  he  possesses  little 
sense  of  justice  or  breadth  of  view,  greater  bril- 
liancy than  solidity,  a  bad  heart,  a  strong  feeling 
of  hatred  and  ingratitude  towards  every  one,  an 
avarice  which  extends  even  to  his  mistresses, 
little  knowledge,  little  religion,  more  ostentation 
than  true  worth,  more  obstinacy  than  firmness  of 
character,  and,  above  all,  a  great  love  of  his  own 
opinions  and  contempt  for  those  of  others."  2 

With  such  a  husband  it  would  have  been 
difficult  for  any  woman  to  have  found  happiness, 
much  less  a  gentle  and  sensitive  girl  like  Anne 
d' Orleans.  Nevertheless,  for  the  first  few  months 
of  her  married  life  her  path  seemed  strewn  with 
roses.  The  handsome  young  Duke  conquered  her 
heart  at  once,  and  she  conceived  for  him  a  deep 
affection,  a   passionate  admiration  which  survived 

1  Costa  de  Beauregard,  Histoire  de  la  Maison  de  Savoie. 
a  Relation  de  la  Couv  de  Savoie,  in  G.  de  Leris,  la  Comtesse  de 



A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY  23 

all  the  just  causes  of  complaint  which  he  subse- 
quently gave  her  and  endured  to  the  day  of  her 
death.  She  was  so  proud  of  being  the  consort  of 
this  youthful  sovereign,  who,  at  an  age  when  most 
young  princes  scarcely  know  the  meaning  of  the 
word  affairs,  supervised  every  department  of  the 
administration  like  a  consummate  statesman  ;  so 
proud  of  the  confidence  which  he  seemed  to  repose 
in  her,  and  of  the  deference  which  he  paid  to  her 
wishes.  And,  above  all,  she  believed  that  he 
returned,  in  some  measure  at  least,  the  wealth  of 
affection  which  she  lavished  upon  him. 

She  was  soon  disillusioned.  Scarcely  had  the 
fetes  which  followed  the  marriage  terminated  than 
Victor  Amadeus,  wearying  of  conjugal  bliss,  became 
entirely  absorbed  in  the  government  of  his  dominions 
and  the  organisation  of  his  army,  and  forgot  the 
young  wife  who  thought  only  of  him.  When  he 
did  condescend  to  remember  her  existence,  it  was 
as  often  as  not  to  complain  that  she  was  leading 
either  too  retired  or  too  gay  a  life,  for  he  was  of 
a  changeable  humour,  and  what  pleased  him  one 
week  irritated  him  the  next.  Nor  were  his  neglect 
and  his  caprices  the  only  trials  which  she  had  to 

The  little  Court  of  Turin,  as  might  naturally 
be  expected,  from  its  long  and  intimate  connection 
with  France,  was  modelled  very  closely  upon  that 
of  its  powerful  neighbour,  and  in  no  respect  was 
this  resemblance  more  striking  than  in  the  matter 
of  morals ;  indeed,  it  seemed  as  though  Victor 
Amadeus,  in  his  relations  with  the  opposite  sex, 
had  taken  Louis  xiv — that  is  to  say,  the  Louis  xiv 
of  twenty  years  before — for  his  example.     Jeanne 


Baptiste  de  Nemours,  like  the  late  Queen  of  France, 
had  gathered  round  her  a  bevy  of  fair  ladies  and 
maids-of-honour,  drawn  from  the  first  families  of 
the  duchy,  who  appear  to  have  been  well-nigh  as 
proficient  in  the  arts  of  seduction  as  the  celebrated 
escadron  volant  of  Catherine  de'  Medici.  "  This 
princess  only  accepted  those  of  surpassing  loveli- 
ness. Thus  the  sovereign  and  the  young  noblemen 
of  his  suite  were  able  to  flit  from  beauty  to  beauty, 
and,  thanks  to  the  variety  of  these  charming 
objects,  to  resume  their  pleasures  without  ever 
becoming  satiated."  l 

Victor  Amadeus,  who  was  of  a  decidedly  ardent 
temperament,  did  not  fail  to  profit  by  the  favour 
with  which  these  charming  objects  naturally 
regarded  one  who  was  not  only  their  sovereign, 
but  a  very  handsome  youth  ;  and,  not  long  before 
his  marriage,  he  had  discovered  his  La  Valliere, 
in  the  person  of  a  certain  Mile,  di  Cumiana,  a 
pretty  brunette,  "  whom  he  overwhelmed  with 
extraordinary  benefits,  which  distinguished  her  in 
a  little  time  from  her  colleagues  by  spoiling  her 
figure."  2  This  intrigue,  which,  for  "  reasons  of 
State/'  Madame  Roy  ale  judged  it  advisable  to  put 
an  end  to,  by  promptly  marrying  the  young  lady 
to  her  grand  equerry,  the  Conte  di  San  Sebastiano, 
was  renewed  many  years  later,  and  in  1730,  when 
the  countess  had  lost  her  husband  and  the  Duke 
of  Savoy — or  rather  the  King  of  Sardinia,  as  he 
had  then  become — his  wife,  Victor  Amadeus  con- 
tracted with  her  a  secret  marriage,  which  he 
acknowledged  after  his  abdication. 

1  Lamberti,  Histoire  de  V abdication  de  Victor  Amedee  n. 

2  Ibid. 


The  young  Duke  soon  found  consolation  for  the 
loss  of  his  inamorata  in  the  society  of  another  of 
his  mother's  maids-of-honour,  Mile,  di  Saluzzo  by 
name.  But,  as  the  damsel  in  question  happened 
to  be  nearly  related  to  a  nobleman  who  had  been 
implicated  in  the  conspiracy  against  the  Regent 
of  which  we  have  spoken  elsewhere,  and  Madame 
Royale  feared  that  she  might  seek  to  influence  her 
son  in  a  direction  contrary  to  her  own  interests, 
she  decided  to  nip  this  romance  in  the  bud  also, 
and  married  off  the  lady  to  the  Comte  de  Prie. 

Victor  Amadeus  was  at  first  inconsolable,  and, 
a  fortnight  after  the  marriage,  we  find  the  French 
Ambassador,  who  had  strict  injunctions  to  keep  his 
Court  informed  of  every  detail  of  "  Monsieur  de 
Savoie's "  life,  writing  to  Louvois  that  "  the 
attachment  of  the  Duke  for  Madame  de  Prie 
seemed  stronger  than  ever."  Madame  Royale  now 
took  the  prudent  step  of  appointing  the  Comte  de 
Prie  Ambassador  of  Savoy  at  Vienna,  and,  after 
a  while,  Victor  Amadeus  appeared  to  forget  all 
about  the  lady,  his  interest  in  whom  had  perhaps 
been  stimulated  by  a  spirit  of  opposition  to  his 
mother's  authority.  Shortly  before  his  marriage 
with  Anne  d' Orleans,  however,  the  count  and  his 
wife  returned  to  Turin,  and  when  the  prince's 
all  too-brief  honeymoon  had  terminated,  it  began 
to  be  remarked  that  his  Highness  was  paying  his 
former  enchantress  considerable  attention.  But 
the  liaison — if  liaison  there  were — was  conducted 
very  discreetly,  and  does  not  appear  to  have 
occasioned  the  young  Duchess  much  uneasiness. 

Very  different  was  the  state  of  affairs  when 
Jeanne-Baptiste  d' Albert  de  Luynes,  Contessa  di 


Verrua,  the  heroine  of  Dumas  fibre's  romance, 
la  Dame  de  Volupte,  appeared  upon  the  scene. 
The  countess  was,  like  the  legitimate  owner  of  the 
ducal  affections,  a  Frenchwoman,  one  of  the  five 
daughters  of  Louis  Charles,  Due  de  Luynes,  a  pious 
and  estimable  old  gentleman  and  a  profound 
admirer  of  the  devots  of  Port-Royal.  There  was, 
however,  nothing  of  the  Jansenist  in  the  career 
or  character  of  Jeanne-Baptiste,  and  it  was  perhaps 
just  as  well  that  the  worthy  Duke  was  gathered  to 
his  fathers  within  a  few  weeks  of  completing  his 
seventieth  year,  since  otherwise  he  must  have 
experienced  even  more  than  the  usual  share  of 
labour  and  sorrow  which  is  supposed  to  fall  to 
those  who  exceed  the  allotted  span  of  life. 

In  August  1683,  when  she  was  not  yet  fourteen,1 
Jeanne-Baptiste  was  married  to  the  Conte  di 
Verrua,  a  young  Piedmontese  noble  connected  with 
the  ancient  family  of  Scaglia,  and,  some  six  months 
before  the  marriage  of  Anne  d' Orleans,  came  to 
reside  with  her  husband  in  Turin. 

"  Most  of  his  daughters  were  beautiful,"  says 
Saint-Simon,  in  speaking  of  the  Due  de  Luynes, 
"  but  this  one  [the  Contessa  di  Verrua]  was  ex- 
tremely so."  But  the  girl  possessed  something 
more  than  mere  perfection  of  face  and  form,  and 
the  testimony  of  her  contemporaries  is  almost 
unanimous  in  declaring  her  to  have  been  one  of  the 
most  fascinating  women  of  her  time, — witty,  viva- 
cious, amiable,  and  intelligent. 

For  four  years  Madame  di  Verrua  seems  to  have 

1  She  was  born  on  January  18,  1670,  and  not  on  October  8,  1675,  as 
stated  by  the  Comte  d'Haussonville,  in  his  la  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne. 
The  distinguished  historian  has  confused  her  with  her  younger  sister, 
who  married,  in  1698,  the  Comte  de  Clermont-Lodeve. 


frequented  the  Court,  where  her  husband  held 
the  post  of  Gentleman  of  the  Chamber  to  Victor 
Amadeus,  without  arousing  more  than  a  passing 
interest  in  the  Duke.  But  during  the  severe 
winter  of  1687-1688,  when  for  some  weeks  the 
country  round  Turin  was  covered  with  snow  and 
sleighing  parties  were  much  in  vogue,  we  find 
d'Arcy,  the  French  Ambassador,  reporting  that 
the  invariable  occupant  of  the  Duke's  sledge  was 
"  Madame  di  Verrua,  a  daughter  of  the  Due  de 
Luynes,  about  seventeen  or  eighteen  years  of  age, 
beautiful  and  very  modest."  * 

The  intimacy  between  his  Highness  and  the 
lady  made  rapid  progress,  and,  a  month  later,  the 
Ambassador  writes  again  : — 

"  Since  your  Majesty  continues  to  give  me  orders 
to  keep  him  informed  very  precisely  of  the  private 
employments  and  amusements  of  the  Duke  of 
Savoy,  I  must  inform  him  that,  since  he  took 
young  Madame  di  Verrua  out  sleighing,  he  appears 
to  continue,  and  even  to  redouble,  his  attentions 
to  her.  Not  a  day  passes  at  the  Opera  but  he  is 
seen  in  this  lady's  box,  where  they  laugh  so  loudly 
together  that  they  attract  every  one's  attention. 
However,  the  lady's  youth  and  high  spirits  may 
be  more  accountable  for  this,  at  least  on  her  side, 
than  anything  else,  and  as  yet  one  cannot  perceive 
any  understanding  between  them  which  justifies 
the  suspicion  of  an  approaching  intrigue."  a 

But  d'Arcy  was  mistaken,  and  before  many 
months   had   passed   the   nature   of    the   relations 

1  D'Arcy  to  Louis  xiv,  January  17,  1688,  published  by  M.  G.  de 
Leris,  la  Comtesse  de  Verrue. 

2  Despatch  of  February  14,  1688. 


between  Victor  Amadeus  and  Madame  di  Verrua  no 
longer  permitted  of  any  doubt.  To  do  the  lady 
justice,  however,  she  did  not  capitulate  without  a 
struggle,  and  even  took  refuge  for  a  time  with 
her  father  in  France,  to  escape  the  compromising 
attentions  of  the  Duke.  Induced  to  return  to 
Turin,  her  life,  if  we  are  to  believe  Saint-Simon, 
was  rendered  so  unendurable  by  the  malicious 
accusations  brought  against  her  by  an  uncle  of 
her  husband,  the  Abbate  di  Verrua,  whose  odious 
advances  she  had  scornfully  rejected,  that  "  virtue 
eventually  yielded  to  dementia  and  to  the  ill 
treatment  to  which  she  was  subjected  at  home; 
she  listened  to  M.  de  Savoie  and  delivered  herself 
to  him  to  deliver  herself  from  persecutors."  l 
Nevertheless,  if  Madame  di  Verrua' s  surrender  was 
a  reluctant  one,  when  once  the  die  had  been  cast, 
she  showed  a  remarkably  keen  appreciation  of  the 
rights  and  prerogatives  attached  to  the  position  of 
maitresse  en  litre,  and  exercised  over  her  royal 
lover,  who  had  hitherto  been  credited  with  far  too 
much  shrewdness  ever  to  permit  himself  to  become 
the  victim  of  a  really  serious  attachment,  an 
empire  even  more  despotic  than  Madame  de 
Montespan  had  wielded  over  Louis  xiv. 

Following  the  evil  example  set  him  by  le  Grand 
Monarque,  who  had  named  his  mistress  Super- 
intendent of  the  Queen's  Household,  Victor 
Amadeus  appointed  Madame  di  Verrua  his  wife's 
Mistress  of  the  Robes,  legitimated  the  two  children 
whom  he  had  by  her,  and,  though  as  a  rule  parsi- 
monious to  the  last  degree,  overwhelmed  her  with 
benefits.     Her  toilettes  were  the  envy  and  despair 

1  Memoir  es. 


of  all  the  ladies  of  the  Court ;  her  apartments  in 
the  palace  were  furnished  with  a  sublime  disregard 
for  expense,  and  filled  with  bronzes,  cameos, 
porcelain,  statuary,  and  valuable  pictures — for  the 
countess  was  an  insatiable  art-collector — and,  when 
she  travelled,  her  retinue  was  composed  of  the 
greatest  nobles  of  Savoy,  and  governors  and  pre- 
fects waited  upon  her  to  offer  her  homage.  The 
almost  sovereign  honours  paid  to  her  were  not 
confined  to  the  dominions  of  the  Duke  of  Savoy, 
for  when  in  1695  she  passed  through  the  Milanese, 
on  her  way  to  the  waters  of  San  Moritz,  we  hear 
of  her  being  received  with  the  firing  of  cannon, 
escorted  by  torchlight  processions,  and  regaled  with 
sumptuous  banquets. 

Madame  di  Verrua's  reign  lasted  twelve  years — 
until  the  autumn  of  1700 — at  the  end  of  which 
time,  growing  weary  of  the  restraints  imposed  upon 
her  liberty  by  the  Duke,  and  the  frequent  and 
violent  quarrels  to  which  his  jealousy  and  her  own 
indiscretions  gave  rise,  she  profited  by  Victor 
Amadeus's  absence  from  Turin  to  escape  to  France, 
with  the  assistance  of  her  younger  brother,  the 
Chevalier  de  Luynes,1  having  first  taken  the  pre- 
caution to  transfer  the  greater  part  of  her  art 
collection  to  Paris.  For  some  four  years  previously 
she  appears  to  have  been  in  the  pay  of  France,  and 
to  have  been  in  the  habit  of  communicating  to 
that  Court  anything  of  importance  which  Victor 
Amadeus  happened  to  let  fall  in  his  unguarded 
moments  ;   and  the  fear  that  her  treachery  was  in 

1  The  Chevalier  de  Luynes  was  a  captain  in  the  French  Navy, 
and  displayed  on  this  occasion  all  the  fertility  of  resource  which  we 
are  accustomed  to  associate  with  that  profession. 


danger  of  being  discovered  was  probably  not  un- 
connected with  her  flight. 

The  Duke  of  Savoy,  on  learning  of  his  mistress's 
desertion,  so  far  from  being  "  wounded  to  the 
quick,"  as  Saint-Simon  would  have  us  believe, 
received  the  news  with  an  equanimity  bordering  on 
indifference  ;  and  when  his  representative  in  Paris, 
the  Conte  di  Vernone,  demanded  how  he  was  to 
treat  the  fugitive,  contented  himself  by  replying 
that  he  pardoned  her  conduct,  since  she  had  acted 
under  the  influence  of  her  brothers.  He  never  saw 
or  corresponded  with  her  again,  though  in  October 
1702  we  find  him  instructing  Vernone  to  visit  her  and 
render  her  any  assistance  she  required,  adding :  "We 
shall  always  retain  a  sincere  regard  for  this  lady."  * 

Madame  di  Verrua  passed  the  four  years  which 
followed  her  flight  from  Turin,  partly  at  Dampierre, 
the  country-seat  of  the  de  Luynes  family,  and 
partly  in  a  convent ;  but,  after  the  death  of  her 
husband  in  the  Battle  of  Blenheim  had  left  her 
entire  mistress  of  her  actions,  she  took  up  her 
residence  in  Paris,  where  she  passed  the  rest  of 
her  life.  She  died  on  November  18,  1736,  in  her 
sixty-seventh  year,  leaving  behind  her  one  of  the 
finest  private  art-collections  in  Europe,  containing 
some  splendid  examples  of  the  work  of  Teniers, 
Rubens,  Van  Dyck,  Rembrandt,  and  other  Flemish 
masters,  and  a  library  of  several  thousand  volumes, 
which  comprised  many  rare  and  valuable  works. 
The  inventory  of  her  possessions,  which  necessi- 
tated more  than  two  months'  continuous  labour, 
covers  forty  quires  of  large-sized  paper.2 

1  A.  Gagniere,  Marie  Adelaide  de  la  Savoie :  Lettves  et  Corres- 
pou  dances.  a  G.  de  Leris,  la  Comtesse  de  Venue. 


Shortly  before  her  death,  Madame  di  Verrua  is 

said  to  have  composed  for  herself  the  following 

epitaph — 

Ci-git  dans  une  paix  profonde 
Cette  dame  de  volupte, 
Qui,  pour  plus  grande  sfirete, 
Fit  son  paradis  en  ce  monde. 

During  the  years  that  Madame  di  Verrua's 
reign  lasted,  poor  Anne  d' Orleans  garnered,  as 
may  be  imagined,  a  plentiful  crop  of  humiliations  ; 
nevertheless,  she  continued  to  oppose  to  her 
husband's  neglect  and  infidelities  an  unalterable 
resignation,  and  to  render  the  most  implicit  obedi- 
ence to  his  imperious  and  capricious  will.  Did 
the  Duke  express  a  desire  that,  during  his  absence 
with  the  Army,  she  should  lead  a  retired  life, 
"  her  Royal  Highness  passed  her  time  in  the  most 
extraordinary  retirement,  and  we  only  meet  at 
the  promenade  or  when  we  visit  churches  to- 
gether." 1  Did  he,  in  order  to  ingratiate  himself 
with  Louis  xiv,  who  had  reproached  him  with 
"  leading  a  solitary  life,  contrary  to  the  indispens- 
able needs  of  absolute  power,"  resolve  to  impart 
a  little  gaiety  to  his  Court,  the  Duchess  immediately 
organised  fetes,  balls,  and  card-parties,  and  danced 
and  gambled  till  the  small  hours  of  the  morning, 
abandoning,  however,  these  unaccustomed  diver- 
sions with  equal  promptitude  the  moment  Victor 
Amadeus  judged  it  safe  to  revert  to  his  former 
habits  of  economy. 

Nor  did  this  sweet-tempered  and  loyal  wife 
confine  herself  to  mere  obedience  to  her  husband's 

1  Letter  of  Madame  Royale  to  Madame  de  la  Fayette,  G.  de 
Leris,  la  Comtesse  de  Verrue. 

32  A  ROSE   OF  SAVOY 

wishes,  but  lavished  upon  him  the  most  touching 
proofs  of  her  love  and  devotion. 

Victor  Amadeus,  as  we  have  seen,  had  given 
very  early  evidence  that  he  had  inherited  the 
martial  instincts  of  his  race,  and  he  held  it  to  be 
the  imperative  duty  of  a  sovereign  to  command 
his  troops  in  person.  When  he  was  but  twelve 
years  of  age,  some  one  happened  to  refer  in  his 
presence  to  the  failure  of  a  campaign  which  had 
been  undertaken  during  the  reign  of  his  father, 
Charles  Emmanuel  n,  against  the  Republic  of 
Genoa.  He  inquired  whether  the  Duke  had  him- 
self directed  the  operations,  and,  on  being  told 
that  he  had  not,  observed  :  "I  shall  never  make 
war  without  being  at  the  head  of  my  armies,  and 
I  shall  recommend  my  successors  to  do  the  same." 
He  was  faithful  to  this  resolution,  and,  since  war 
was  the  almost  permanent  condition  of  his  reign, 
found  himself  obliged  to  spend  the  greater  part  of 
his  time  in  the  camp.  As  a  general,  he  showed  no 
little  skill,  as  well  as  remarkable  courage  and 
tenacity ;  but  his  health,  never  vigorous,  was 
severely  tried  by  the  fatigues  and  privations  he 
was  compelled  to  undergo,  and  this  occasioned  the 
Duchess  the  most  intense  anxiety.  Whenever 
her  husband  was  absent  on  a  campaign,  she 
never  knew  a  moment's  peace  of  mind  until  his 
return,  and  the  torments  of  anxiety  which  she 
suffered  on  his  account  are  pathetically  depicted 
in  the  numerous  letters  written  by  her,  preserved 
in  the  State  Archives  of  Turin.  Her  letters  were 
at  first  addressed  to  Victor  Amadeus  himself,  but, 
since  the  Duke  detested  writing  except  on  affairs  of 
State,  and  seems  to  have  seldom  or  never  troubled 


to  reply  to  them — in  the  whole  voluminous  port- 
folio devoted  to  his  correspondence  in  the  Turin 
Archives  there  is  not  a  single  letter  addressed  to 
his  wife — she  was  forced  to  have  recourse  to  the 
Marquis  de  Saint-Thomas,  the  Duke's  confidential 
Minister,  who  always  accompanied  him  on  his  cam- 
paigns,and  directed  him  to  keep  her  informed  with  un- 
failing regularity  of  the  state  of  his  master's  health. 

When,  during  his  absences,  Anne  learned  that 
he  was  ill — which  happened  several  times — her 
anxiety  knew  no  bounds,  and  she  wrote  demanding, 
in  the  most  touching  terms,  permission  to  join 
him.  "  Give  me  this  consolation,"  she  writes  to 
him  on  August  30,  1692,  when  he  was  lying  danger- 
ously ill  of  small-pox  at  Embrun ;  "  it  would  be  the 
greatest  mark  of  affection  which  you  could  bestow 
upon  me.  I  assure  you  that  I  can  come  without 
causing  the  least  embarrassment.  Only  my  two 
ladies  need  accompany  me.  I  shall  be  satisfied  at 
being  near  you,  and  you  will  see  of  what  a  tender 
affection  is  capable.  I  shall  neglect  nothing  which 
can  show  you  that  I  love  you  as  my  own  life."  * 

On  this  occasion,  the  permission  she  so  ardently 
desired  was  accorded  her,  and,  braving  the  con- 
tagion, she  established  herself  at  her  husband's 
bedside  and  tended  him  with  unremitting  care. 
As  Victor  Amadeus  was  in  a  most  critical  condition 
when  she  arrived,  and  the  Duchess  states,  in  a 
letter   to   Madame   Royale,    that   no   doctors   were 

1  State  Archives  of  Turin,  published  by  the  Marchesa  Vitell- 
eschi,  "The  Romance  of  Savoy."  This  letter — or  rather  portions 
of  it — has  also  been  published  by  Luisa  Sarredo  {Anna  di  Savoia), 
Madame  de  Faverges  {Anne  d'Orleans),  and  the  Comte  d'Hausson- 
ville  (la  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne),  but  neither  of  the  last  three  writers 
gives  the  date. 



available,  it  is  probable  that,  under  Heaven,  it  was 
to  her  devoted  nursing  that  he  owed  his  recovery. 
Nevertheless,  his  gratitude  was  of  short  duration, 
and  scarcely  was  his  health  re-established,  than 
Madame  di  Verrua  resumed  her  empire  over  him. 

In  these  years  of  neglect  and  humiliation  the 
only  joys  which  Anne  d' Orleans  seems  to  have 
known  were  those  of  maternity,  which,  since  she 
bore  her  husband  eight  children,  and  had,  besides, 
several  miscarriages,  were  not  spared  her.  Of  her 
numerous  family,  however,  two  sons  and  two 
daughters  alone  survived  their  infancy.  The  elder 
son,  a  handsome  and  intelligent  lad,  died  in  his 
sixteenth  year  ;  the  younger,  a  pitiable  contrast 
to  his  brother  in  both  mind  and  body,  lived  to 
succeed  his  father  as  Charles  Emmanuel  in.  Of 
the  girls,  the  elder,  Maria  Luisa,  married  Philip  v 
of  Spain,  and  became  the  ancestress  of  the  Spanish 
Bourbons ;  the  elder,  Marie  Adelaide — better  known 
to  history  by  the  gallicized  form  of  her  name,  by 
which  we  propose  to  speak  of  her — is  the  subject 
of  the  present  volume. 

Marie  Adelaide  was  the  Duchess's  firstborn, 
and  made  her  appearance  in  the  world  on  Decem- 
ber 6,  1685.  The  little  lady's  arrival  nearly  cost 
her  mother  her  life  ;  indeed,  Anne's  condition  was 
at  one  time  so  critical  that  the  viaticum  was 
administered.  However,  after  two  very  anxious 
days,  during  which,  according  to  d'Arcy,  "  the 
Court,  the  town,  and  every  one  were  in  a  state  of 
consternation  and  affliction  which  had  never  been 
surpassed,"  x   she   was   declared  out   of    danger,   a 

1  D'Arcy  to  Louis  xiv,  January  1,  1686. 


result  which  seems  to  have  been  chiefly  due  to  the 
attentions  lavished  upon  her  by  Victor  Amadeus, 
whom  gratification  at  becoming  a  father,  and  the 
fear  of  losing  his  long-suffering  consort,  had  moment- 
arily roused  from  his  habitual  indifference.  "  The 
Duke  of  Savoy,"  writes  d'Arcy,  "  performs  his 
duties  as  a  good  husband  and  father.  He  has  had 
a  little  camp-bed  taken  to  his  wife's  room,  in  order 
that  he  may  sleep  there,  and  is  continually  mounting 
to  the  princess's  [Marie  Adelaide]  apartment."  * 

The  baptism  of  the  little  princess,  which  took 
place  on  December  1685,  Madame  Royale  and 
Victor  Amadeus' s  uncle,  Prince  Philibert  di  Carig- 
nano,  acting  as  sponsors,  was  not  accompanied  by 
any  great  rejoicings,  for  the  Court  was  sorely  dis- 
appointed that  the  new  arrival  was  not  a  boy.2 
At  Versailles  there  was  much  discussion  as  to 
whether  etiquette  demanded  that  an  envoy  should 
be  sent  to  Turin  to  compliment  the  Duke  of  Savoy, 
"  since  it  was  only  a  daughter."  But,  after  pre- 
cedents had  been  consulted,  it  was  found  that 
his  Majesty  had  sent  one  to  Lisbon  on  the  occa- 
sion of  the  birth  of  the  Infanta  Isabella  Luisa, 
the  princess  whom  Madame  Royale  had  once 
intended  as  the  bride  of  Victor  Amadeus  ;  and  the 
Marquis  d'Urfe,  a  grand-nephew  of  Honore  d'Urfe, 
the  author  of  VAstree,  was  chosen  for  the  mission. 

When  d'Urfe  reached  Turin,  the  Duchess  was 

1  D'Arcy  to  Louis  xiv,  December  8,  1685. 

2  In  December  1698,  Marie  Adelaide,  then  Duchesse  de  Bour- 
gogne,  wrote  to  Madame  Royale  :  "  I  believe,  my  dear  grandmother, 
that  I  did  not  occasion  you  much  joy  thirteen  years  ago,  and  that 
you  would  have  preferred  a  boy  ;  but,  from  all  the  kindness  that 
you  have  shown,  I  cannot  doubt  that  you  have  forgiven  me  for 
being  a  girl." 


still  confined  to  her  bed,  which  the  envoy  describes, 
in  one  of  his  despatches,  as  "  rather  handsome, 
with  canopy  and  hangings  of  crimson  velvet 
embroidered  with  pearls."  And  he  adds  :  "  Those 
who  have  not  seen  the  furniture  which  the  King 
[Louis  xiv]  possesses  imagine  it  to  be  the  finest 
in  the  world.  As  I  am  not  charged  to  disabuse 
their  minds,  I  contented  myself  by  expressing  my 
opinion  in  such  a  way  as  to  let  them  understand 
that  it  is  sumptuous,  but  not  the  finest  that  I  have 
seen."  x 

Before  the  envoy  returned  to  France,  however, 
her  Highness  was  sufficiently  recovered  to  be 
churched.  On  these  occasions  it  was  the  custom 
at  Turin,  after  the  ecclesiastical  ceremony  had 
been  performed,  for  the  Duchess  to  receive  all  the 
ladies  of  the  Court,  who  each  in  turn  approached 
and  kissed  her  hand.  The  beauty  of  the  Turinese 
ladies  was  celebrated  throughout  Europe,  but 
d'Urfe  could  not  be  prevailed  upon  to  admit  that 
their  charms  were  in  any  way  comparable  to  those 
of  his  own  fair  countrywomen,  and  "  praised  them 
as  he  had  praised  the  bed." 

Some  eighteen  months  later  (August  15,  1688), 
the  Duchess  of  Savoy  gave  birth  to  a  second 
daughter,  Maria  Luisa,  the  future  Queen  of 
Spain.  On  this  occasion,  Victor  Amadeus  had 
been  so  confident  of  an  heir  that  he  had  already 
nominated  the  envoys  who  were  to  carry  the  glad 
tidings  to  all  the  Courts  of  Europe,  and  he  did  not 
attempt  to  conceal  from  his  consort  the  mortifica- 
tion which   this  contretemps  occasioned  him.     In- 

1  D'Urfe  to  Croissy,  January  14,  1686,  published  by  the  Comte 


deed,    the    ostentatious   indifference    he    displayed 
towards  the   poor  lady  about  this  time  was  the 
subject  of  public  comment ;  and  Monsieur,  highly 
indignant   at   the   manner  in  which  his  daughter 
was  being  treated,  appealed  to  Louis  xiv  to  remind 
the  Duke  of  Savoy  of  the  respect  he  owed  to  a 
princess  of  the  blood  royal.     This  ill-advised  inter- 
ference   in   his    domestic    affairs    greatly   irritated 
Victor   Amadeus,  and,   instead   of  bringing   about 
any  improvement  in  his  attitude  towards  his  wife, 
seems  to  have  estranged  him  still  further  from  her. 
However,  if  the  Duke  of  Savoy  seemed  to  resent 
the  arrival  of  his  two  little  daughters  as  a  personal 
grievance,   they  proved  an  infinite  consolation  to 
their  mother,  and,  as  they  grew  older,  they  became 
more  and  more  the  principal  interest  of  her  sad  and 
lonely  life.     Whereas  in  those  days  the  children  of 
the    great,    and    in   particular    of    royal   persons, 
were  usually  left  very  much  to  the  care  of  their 
attendants,  and  the  gouvemante  of  a  young  princess 
often  filled,  to  all  intents  and  purposes,  the  place 
of  a  mother,   the   Duchess  preferred  to  keep  her 
daughters  with   her  as  much   as  possible,  and   to 
confine  the  authority  of  their  preceptresses  to  the 
exercise   of  purely   scholastic   duties.     Even   these 
would  appear  to  have  been  performed  in  a  very 
perfunctory  manner,  as,  although  Marie  Adelaide's 
sous-gouvemante,    the    Comtesse    des   Noyers,1   had 
the  reputation  of  being  a  lady  of  the  very  highest 
attainments,  she  never  succeeded  in  teaching  her 
pupil  either  how  to  write  or  to  spell,  and  to  the  end 

1  Francoise  de  Lucinge,  granddaughter  of  Guillaume  de  Lucinge, 
Comte  de  Faucigny.  The  name  is  sometimes  written  Dunoyer, 
but  the  above  appears  to  be  its  correct  form. 


of  her  life  the  princess  remained  faithful  to  the 
laborious  copybook  hand  of  her  childhood — which 
perhaps  accounts  for  the  brevity  of  her  epistles — 
while  her  spelling  was  a  thing  to  marvel  at,  even  in 
an  age  of  fantastic  orthography.1 

The  Duchess  Anne  did  not  care  for  Turin,  and 
during  the  frequent  and  prolonged  absences  of  her 
husband  from  his  capital,  she  was  accustomed  to 
pass  the  most  of  her  time  with  her  children  at  one 
or  other  of  the  country-residences  of  the  Crown. 
Of  these  there  were  several  within  the  compass  of 
a  few  miles  from  the  city.  In  the  south-eastern 
environs,  on  the  banks  of  the  Po,  in  the  midst  of 
a  spacious  park,  now  the  Giardino  Pubblico,  stood 
the  Castello  del  Valentino,  an  imposing  chateau 
in  the  French  Renaissance  style,  with  four  towers, 
built  for  Christine  of  France.  Some  four  miles 
farther  south,  was  the  Chateau  of  Moncalieri  — 
now  the  residence  of  Princess  Clotilda  of  Saxony, 
widow  of  Prince  Jerome  Bonaparte — perched  on  a 
height  above  the  town  of  that  name,  and  command- 

1  Here  are  two  amusing  specimens  of  her  spelling  and  punctua- 
tion, the  first  written  a  few  days  after  her  arrival  in  France,  the 
second  some  eighteen  months  later.  Both  letters  are  addressed 
to  her  grandmother,  Jeanne-Baptiste  de  Nemours  : — 

"  De  Versaie  ce  13  Novembre  [1696]. 
"  Vous  me  pardonere  Madame  si  ie  ne  uous  est  pas  ecrit  la  peur 
de  uous  anuier  me  la  fait  fair  ie  fini  Madame  uous  embrasan. — Tres 
humble  tres  obeisantes  petite  fille,  M.  Adelaide  de  Sauoie." 

"  Versaile  ce  25  Mars,  1698. 
"  Iespere  que  iescrire  assez  bien,  ma  chere  grandmaman  jai  un 
maitre  qui  se  donne  beau  coup  de  paine  jaurois  grans  tort  de  ne  pas 
profntter  des  soins  qu'on  prend  de  tout  ce  que  me  regarde  la  D.  du 
Lude  estre  revenue  auprais  de  moy  dont  je  suis  ravie  et  il  est  vrais 
que  Mme.  de  Mentenon  me  voit  le  plus  souvent  qui  lui  est  possible 
ie  croys  pouvoir  vous  assurer  sans  saut  [trop  ?]  me  flatter  que  ces 
deux  dames  maimen.  Ne  douttes  jamais  ma  chere  gran  maman  que 
ie  ne  vous  aime  tous  jours  autan  que  ie  le  dois." 

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ing  a  magnificent  view  of  the  surrounding  country. 
About  the  same  distance  from  Turin,  in  an  easterly 
direction,  was  Rivoli,  where,  in  1684,  Victor 
Amadeus  had  announced  his  assumption  of  the 
government  of  his  dominions,  and  which,  by  a 
singular  coincidence,  was  to  witness,  fifty-six  years 
later,  his  formal  abdication  of  the  authority  which 
he  had  exercised  with  such  extraordinary  ability 
and  success  ;  while  a  little  to  the  north  lay  II 
Veneria,  the  Versailles  of  the  Dukes  of  Savoy. 
But  the  favourite  residence  of  the  Duchess  was  the 
Vigna  di  Madame,  a  charming  country-house  on 
the  slopes  of  a  wooded  hill  overlooking  the  Po, 
about  half  an  hour's  drive  from  the  capital.  The 
Vigna,  which  derived  its  name  from  the  vineyards 
which  had  once  occupied  the  spot  on  which  it 
stood,  had  been  built,  in  1649,  DY  Cardinal  Maurice 
of  Savoy,  younger  son  of  Charles  Emmanuel  1, 
who  cleared  away  the  vines  and  laid  out  the  grounds 
in  terraces  in  the  French  fashion  of  the  period. 
On  his  death,  he  left  the  property  on  which  he 
had  expended  so  much  money  and  care  to  his 
niece,  Ludovica  Maria  of  Savoy,  who  in  her  turn 
bequeathed  it  to  the  successive  princesses  of  her 

In  later  years,  when  Marie  Adelaide  and  her 
sister  had  left  their  home,  the  elder  for  Versailles, 
the  younger  for  Madrid,  the  name  of  the  Vigna  is 
frequently  mentioned  in  their  letters  as  that  of  the 
place  where  the  greater  part  of  their  childhood  was 
passed.      But,  though  this  little   palace,    "  hidden 

1  The  Marchesa  Vitelleschi,  "The  Romance  of  Savoy."  After 
the  Duchess  Anne  became  Queen  of  Sicily,  the  Vigna  di  Madame 
was  known  as  the  Villa  della  Regina,  which  name  it  still  retains. 
It  is  now  an  institute  for  the  daughters  of  military  officers. 


in  a  nest  of  verdure,"  was  undoubtedly  a  delightful 
residence,  and  the  pure,  invigorating  air  of  the 
hillside  made  it  an  equally  desirable  resort  from 
the  Court  physicians'  point  of  view,1  it  is  to  be 
feared  that,  as  they  grew  older,  the  two  girls  must 
have  found  their  sojourns  there  decidedly  dull, 
since  the  Duchess  brought  only  a  small  part  of  her 
Household  with  her,  and  passed  nearly  the  whole 
of  her  time  out  of  doors  ;  and  the  only  recreation 
which  she  seems  to  have  permitted  her  daughters 
were  long  walks,  in  which  she  herself  was  generally 
their  companion.  "  You  are  then  all  alone  in 
Turin,  since  my  mother  and  brothers  have  gone 
to  the  Vigna,"  wrote  the  Queen  of  Spain  to  her 
grandmother,  Madame  Royale,  some  years  later. 
"  The  small  number  of  persons  whom  she  has  taken 
with  her  does  not  surprise  me,  since  it  was  the 
same  in  my  time."  2 

The  Duchess  was  the  most  tender  and  devoted 
of  mothers.  She  insisted  on  nursing  her  daughters 
with  her  own  hands  in  all  their  childish  ailments, 
and  once,  when  one  of  the  young  princesses  had 
contracted  some  contagious  malady,  she  shut 
herself  up  with  her,  and  would  not  permit  even 
Madame  Royale  to  enter  the  sick-room.  Never- 
theless, despite  the  care  and  affection  which  she 
lavished  upon  the  girls,  there  was  little  of  that 
intimacy  between  her  and  her  children  which  we 
should  naturally  expect  to  find,  and  this  is  par- 
ticularly noticeable  in  regard  to  the  future  Duchesse 
de  Bourgogne.     It  was  her  grandmother,  Madame 

1  It  was  here  that  Victor  Amadeus  came  to  recruit  his  shattered 
health  after  the  serious  illness  of  which  we  have  already  spoken. 

8  Contessa  della  Rocca,  Correspondance  inedite  de  la  Duchesse  de 
Bourgogne  et  de  la  Reine  d'Espagne. 


Royale,  and  not  her  mother,  who  seems  to  have 
been  the  recipient  of  Marie  Adelaide's  childish 
confidences  ;  it  is  to  her  to  whom,  in  years  to  come, 
she  will  write  those  brief  yet  charming  letters, 
full  of  little  details  about  herself  and  her  life  at 
the  French  Court,  whom  she  will  implore  not  to 
love  less  than  her  sister,  with  whom  she  will  desire 
"  to  share  all  her  troubles."  In  the  Archives  of 
Turin,  which  contain  more  than  a  hundred  of  her 
letters  to  Madame  Royale,  only  eight  addressed  to 
her  mother  are  to  be  found,  and  these,  though 
affectionate  in  tone,  are  always  a  trifle  ceremonious. 
"  I  pique  myself  now  on  being  a  great  personage," 
she  writes  to  her,  in  January  1702,  "  and  I  think 
that  '  Mamma  '  is  not  suitable.  But  I  shall  love 
my  dear  mother  even  more  than  my  dear  mamma, 
because  I  shall  be  better  able  to  understand  all  your 
worth,  and  all  that  I  owe  to  you."  To  her  mother, 
indeed,  she  is  the  dutiful,  obedient,  and  grateful 
daughter,  but  it  is  from  her  grandmother  that  she 
will  seek  counsel  and  sympathy. 

Nor  is  this  difficult  of  explanation.  It  is  a  sad 
but  undeniable  fact  that  to  very  young  girls  the 
beautiful,  fascinating,  light-hearted  woman  of  the 
world,  whose  metier  is  to  charm  and  amuse  all 
about  her,  appeals  far  more  strongly  than  her 
grave,  devout,  retiring  sister,  however  worthy  of 
confidence  and  affection  the  latter  may  be ;  and, 
from  the  little  princesses'  point  of  view,  the  widow 
of  Charles  Emmannel  11  was  a  much  more  attractive 
personality  than  their  own  mother. 

What  few  pretensions  to  beauty  Anne  d' Orleans 
had  possessed  at  the  time  of  her  marriage  had  not 
survived  the  tribulations  of  childbirth,  which  had 


been  for  her  peculiarly  severe,  and  on  more  than 
one  occasion  had  nearly  cost  her  her  life  ;  while 
her  natural  seriousness  of  disposition  had  been 
intensified  by  her  repeated  disappointments  at  the 
non-appearance  of  the  son  so  ardently  desired,  and 
by  the  infidelities  and  neglect  of  her  husband. 
Excellent  woman  though  she  was,  she  does  not 
appear  to  have  understood  that  it  was  her  duty  to 
forget  her  own  sorrows  when  in  the  company  of 
her  little  daughters,  to  affect  an  interest  in  their 
childish  amusements,  and  to  do  everything  in  her 
power  to  gladden  their  lives  ;  that  children  are 
attracted  by  gaiety  and  repelled  by  melancholy  ; 
that  though  daily  attendance  at  Mass  and  listening 
to  the  reading  of  works  of  devotion  may  be  good 
for  the  youthful  soul,  and  long  "  constitutionals  " 
excellent  for  the  body,  the  mind  occasionally 
requires  a  little  distraction  ;  and  that  the  mother 
who  would  gain  the  confidence  and  affection  of 
her  children  must  be  to  them  something  more  than 
a  moral  preceptress. 

On  the  other  hand,  the  years  had  dealt  leniently 
with  Jeanne-Baptiste  de  Nemours,  who,  although 
she  had  grown  somewhat  stout,  was  still  beautiful, 
while  she  had  retained  all  her  wonderful  charm  of 
manner.  With  the  approach  of  old  age,  she  had 
renounced  the  gallantries  which  had  disgraced  the 
first  half  of  her  life,  and,  disdaining  to  have  recourse 
to  art  to  repair  the  ravages  of  Time,  had  accepted 
it  in  the  spirit  of  the  true  philosopher,  finding,  as 
so  many  women  of  a  like  temperament  have  done 
both  before  and  since,  consolation  for  the  loss  of 
her  adorers  in  the  homage  paid  to  her  intelligence 
and  wit.     Her  circle,   however,   would  appear  to 


have  been  a  somewhat  limited  one,  since  Victor 
Amadeus  not  only  denied  his  mother  every  vestige 
of  influence,  but  regarded  her  with  a  hatred  which 
he  was  at  little  pains  to  conceal,  and  those  who 
had  the  courage  to  brave  their  sovereign's  dis- 
pleasure by  paying  court  to  Madame  Royale  were 
comparatively  few.  The  weekly  visits  which  the 
old  princess  received  from  her  grand-daughters  at 
the  Palazzo  Madama — that  huge,  ungainly  mediaeval 
pile  in  the  midst  of  the  Piazza  Castello,  now  occupied 
by  the  State  Archives  and  other  institutions — which 
during  her  later  years  she  seldom  quitted,  were 
therefore  the  more  welcome,  and  she  exerted  herself 
to  interest  and  amuse  the  children  and  to  encour- 
age them  to  make  her  their  friend  and  confidante. 
In  this  she  was  eminently  successful,  particularly 
with  Adelaide,  in  whose  affections  her  "  chere  gran 
maman  "  always  retained  the  foremost  place. 

But  we  must  now  turn  to  the  consideration  of 
certain  political  events  which  were  to  have  a  very 
important  bearing  on  Adelaide's  future  career. 


Victor  Amadeus  n  and  Louis  xiv — Incessant  interference  of 
the  latter  in  the  affairs  of  Savoy  and  the  domestic  life  of  the  Duke 
— Victor  Amadeus  compelled  by  him  to  engage  in  a  cruel  per- 
secution of  his  own  Protestant  subjects,  the  Vaudois — The  League 
of  Augsburg — Double  game  of  Victor  Amadeus — Rupture  between 
Savoy  and  France — The  allies  are  defeated  at  Staffarda — Savoy  and 
Piedmont  are  over-run  by  the  French,  and  Turin  threatened — 
Invasion  of  Dauphine  by  the  Allies  fails,  owing  to  the  serious  illness 
of  Victor  Amadeus — Siege  of  Pinerolo  and  Battle  of  Marsaglia — 
Louis  xiv  anxious  to  detach  Savoy  from  the  League — The  Comte 
de  Tesse — Secret  negotiations  with  the  Court  of  Turin — Pro- 
positions of  Victor  Amadeus — He  proposes  a  marriage  between 
the  Princess  Adelaide  and  the  Due  de  Bourgogne — Secret  visit  of 
Tesse  to  Turin — Victor  Amadeus  sends  an  envoy  to  Vienna  to 
propose  an  alliance  between  the  Princess  Adelaide  and  the  King 
of  the  Romans — Refusal  of  the  Emperor — The  Duke  resumes 
his  negotiations  with  France — Treaty  signed  between  France  and 
Savoy — Its  terms — Joy  of  Victor  Amadeus 

IF  Louis  xiv,  in  giving  his  niece  to  Victor 
Amadeus,  nattered  himself  that  he  had 
secured  a  nephew  whom  it  would  be  easy  to 
bend  to  his  imperious  will,  he  had  fallen  into  a  very 
grievous  error.  Nevertheless,  it  must  be  admitted 
that  for  some  years  the  conduct  of  the  Duke  was 
such  as  to  encourage  this  pleasing  illusion,  since, 
though  he  frequently  endeavoured  to  evade  the 
execution  of  the  orders  he  received  from  Versailles, 
he  generally  ended  by  obeying  them.  But  the 
yoke  of  France  was  very  heavy  ;    nominally  an 



independent  sovereign,  the  Duke  of  Savoy  found 
himself  treated  exactly  as  though  he  had  been  a 
vassal  of  the  French  Crown.  Louis  xiv  interfered 
incessantly,  not  only  in  every  act  of  his  government, 
but  in  those  of  his  private  life.  He  remonstrated 
with  him  on  his  treatment  of  his  wife,  thereby,  as 
we  have  seen,  making  the  lot  of  that  unfortunate 
princess  still  more  difficult  to  bear ;  intimated  that 
he  lived  too  much  in  retirement,  and  that  it  behoved 
him  to  maintain  a  gay  and  brilliant  Court ; 
espoused  with  the  utmost  warmth  Madame  Royale's 
side  in  her  frequent  quarrels  with  her  son  ;  and 
ordered  the  Duke  to  forbid  the  marriage  of  his 
uncle,  Prince  Philibert  di  Carignano,  heir-pre- 
sumptive to  the  throne,  with  Catherine  d'Este, 
daughter  of  the  Duke  of  Modena,  and  when  Phili- 
bert, ignoring  his  nephew's  wishes,  contracted  a 
secret  marriage,  compelled  Victor  Amadeus  to 
banish  him  and  his  wife  from  Savoy. 

When,  after  the  rupture  with  France,  of  which 
we  are  about  to  speak,  peace  was  concluded  and 
diplomatic  relations  between  the  two  Courts  were 
about  to  be  resumed,  it  was  indeed  with  good 
reason  that  Victor  Amadeus  said  to  the  French 
envoy  at  Turin  :  "  Implore  the  King  to  give  me 
an  Ambassador  who  will  leave  us  in  peace  with  our 
sheep,  our  wives,  our  mothers,  our  mistresses,  and 
our  servants.  The  charcoal-burner  ought  to  be 
the  master  in  his  own  hut,  and  from  the  day  when 
I  had  the  use  of  my  reason  until  that  on  which  I  had 
the  misfortune  to  engage  in  this  unhappy  war, 
scarcely  a  week  has  passed  in  which  there  has  not 
been  demanded  of  me,  either  in  regard  to  my  own 
conduct  or  that  of  my  family,  ten  things,  or,  when 


I  have  accorded  only  nine,  that  I  have  not  been 
threatened."  * 

But  a  humiliation  far  more  intolerable  than 
any  interference  in  his  private  or  family  affairs 
was  imposed  on  Victor  Amadeus  when,  in  the 
spring  of  1686,  the  Most  Christian  King,  carried 
away  by  his  zeal  for  the  extermination  of  heresy, 
forced  him  to  undertake,  in  conjunction  with 
French  troops  under  Catinat,  a  cruel  and  bloody 
persecution  of  his  own  Protestant  subjects,  the 
Vaudois,  and  to  lay  waste  their  peaceful  valleys 
with  fire  and  sword.  Wounded  at  once  in  his 
pride  as  a  sovereign  and  in  his  natural  sentiments 
of  kindness  for  his  people,  the  Duke  returned  from 
this  expedition  bitterly  incensed  against  France, 
and  impatient  for  an  opportunity  of  casting  off 
the  fetters  which  weighed  so  heavily  upon  him. 

In  July  of  that  year,  the  celebrated  League  of 
Augsburg  was  formed  against  the  monarch  whose 
ambition  and  imperious  manners  had  alarmed  and 
offended  all  the  princes  and  peoples  of  Europe, 
Catholic  and  Protestant  alike,  and  was  joined  by  Eng- 
land, the  Emperor,  the  Kings  of  Spain  and  Sweden, 
the  Dutch  Republic,  the  Palatine  and  Saxon  Electors, 
and  the  Circles  of  Bavaria,  Franconia,  and  the  Upper 
Rhine.  Victor  Amadeus  at  once  began  coquetting 
with  the  Allies,  but,  finding  the  guarantees  which 
they  offered  him  insufficient,  declined  to  commit 
himself,  and  accordingly,  while  making  his  pre- 
parations for  war,  in  anticipation  of  the  moment 
when  military  exigencies  should  wring  from  them 
more  satisfactory  terms,  continued  to  profess  an 
unalterable  devotion  to  the  interests  of  France. 

1  Rousset,  Histoire  de  Louvois. 


This  double  game  proceeded  until  the  late 
spring  of  1690,  when,  French  agents  having  inter- 
cepted some  very  compromising  correspondence 
between  William  of  Orange  and  Victor  Amadeus, 
Louis  xiv  directed  Catinat  to  call  upon  the  Duke  to 
deliver  up  to  his  uncle,  as  a  pledge  of  his  fidelity, 
not  only  the  fortress  of  Verrua,  on  the  confines  of 
Piedmont  and  Savoy,  but  the  citadel  of  Turin  as 
well, — that  is  to  say,  nothing  less  than  his  own 
capital.  Victor  Amadeus,  rinding  himself  with  his 
back  to  the  wall,  hesitated  no  longer,  but  despatched 
an  envoy  to  Milan  to  announce  his  adhesion  to 
the  League,  and  to  demand  assistance  from  the 
Spaniards ;  for  Catinat  with  18,000  French  troops 
was  now  at  the  gates  of  Turin,  and  it  was  only  by 
haggling  with  him  over  the  conditions  on  which 
the  citadel  was  to  be  delivered  up  that  he  could 
prevent  him  from  commencing  hostilities. 

The  Allies  received  the  news  of  the  Duke  of 
Savoy's  belated  decision  with  joy,  and  a  Spanish 
army  at  once  advanced  to  the  relief  of  Turin. 
On  its  approach,  Victor  Amadeus  flung  aside  the 
mask ;  informed  the  Comte  de  Rebenac,  who  had 
succeeded  d'Arcy  as  French  Ambassador,  that  the 
extremity  to  which  his  master  had  reduced  him 
left  him  no  alternative  but  to  accept  the  assistance 
which  Spain  had  several  times  offered  him  ;  signed 
with  his  own  hand  a  treaty  of  alliance,  offensive 
and  defensive,  with  the  Emperor  Leopold  (June 
14,  1674)  ;  and  convened  a  great  meeting  of  the 
nobility  at  the  Palazzo  Reale,  and  addressed  to 
them  what  Rebenac  styles  "  a  very  eloquent  and 
very  bellicose  harangue,"  in  which  he  announced 
his  intention  of  "  entering  the  universal  cause  and 


going  to  seek  the  French  army  at  the  head  of  his 
faithful  people." 

The  nobles,  no  less  eager  than  their  sovereign 
to  avenge  the  long  series  of  humiliations  which 
France  had  inflicted  on  their  country,  welcomed 
this  announcement  with  frenzied  applause  ;  the 
enthusiasm  for  war  rapidly  spread  to  the  Army, 
the  people,  and  even  to  the  clergy,  who  voluntarily 
offered  the  valuables  which  their  churches  con- 
tained to  the  war  fund  ;  and  the  remnant  of  the 
persecuted  Vaudois,  seeing  in  the  outbreak  of 
hostilities  an  end  of  the  cruel  persecution  to 
which  they  had  been  subjected,  sent  a  deputation 
to  the  Duke  to  offer  their  services,  and  on  being 
assured  by  him  that  their  religion  should  henceforth 
be  respected,  and  that  "  so  long  as  he  had  a  morsel 
of  bread  in  his  mouth,  he  would  share  it  with 
them,"  furnished  a  contingent,  which  served  through- 
out the  war  and  fought  with  the  utmost  heroism 
and  ferocity.  In  short,  within  a  few  days  of 
Victor  Amadeus  entering  the  Coalition,  the  whole 
of  Savoy  and  Piedmont,  noble  and  peasant,  Catholic 
and  Protestant  alike,  had  risen  in  arms. 

The  odds  against  the  little  State  were,  however, 
very  heavy,  opposed  as  it  was  to  the  finest  troops 
of  the  Continent  and  to  one  of  Louis  xiv's  most 
experienced  generals.  Austria  sent  to  the  assist- 
ance of  Victor  Amadeus  his  cousin  Eugene  of 
Savoy,  the  "  little  abbe  "  whose  sword  le  Grand 
Monarque  had  once  so  contemptuously  rejected, 
and  who  was  ere  long  to  become  a  veritable  thorn 
in  the  side  of  France.  But  the  two  young  princes 
conducted  their  operations  with  more  courage 
than  discretion,  and  in  August  they  were  completely 


defeated  by  Catinat  at  Staffarda,  and  Savoy  and 
Nice  and  the  greater  part  of  Piedmont  fell  into 
the  hands  of  the  French,  who  ravaged  and  burned 
in  the  most  ruthless  fashion,  since  Louvois  had 
given  orders  "  to  treat  the  country  like  the  Palati- 
nate, and  make  fire  and  sword  do  their  work  there." 
Catinat  even  pushed  his  advance  -  posts  almost 
within  sight  of  the  walls  of  Turin,  and  threw  the 
capital  into  a  state  of  the  utmost  consternation. 
Victor  Amadeus  gave  orders  for  the  Duchess  and 
her  children  to  retire  to  Vercelli  ;  but  the  French 
general  decided  that  the  forces  under  his  command 
were  insufficient  to  invest  so  large  a  town,  and, 
having  burned  the  ducal  chateau  of  Rivoli,1  retired 
to  Coni,  to  which  he  proceeded  to  lay  siege.  The 
garrison,  however,  aided  by  the  inhabitants,  offered 
a  desperate  resistance,  and  gave  Eugene  time  to 
bring  up  an  army  to  their  succour  and  compel 
Catinat  to  raise  the  siege. 

Encouraged  by  this  success,  and  by  the  arrival 
of  reinforcements  under  Maximilian  of  Bavaria, 
the  Allies  decided  to  assume  the  aggressive ;  and 
Catinat  found  himself  so  hard  pressed  that  he 
was  forced  to  evacuate  Piedmont  and  fall  back 
into  Savoy,  though  the  surrender  of  the  fortress  of 
Montmelian,  which  the  French  had  been  besieging 
for  several  months,  afforded  him  some  consolation 
for  this  retrograde  movement. 

At  the  opening  of  the  following  campaign,  Victor 
Amadeus  proposed  the  investment  of  Pinerolo,  the 
key  of  Piedmont,  which  had  been  in  the  hands  of 

1  On  learning  of  this  catastrophe,  Victor  Amadeus  observed  that 
he  would  cheerfully  submit   to  the  destruction  of  his  own  palaces 
if  the  enemy  would  spare  the  houses  of  his  people. 


France  ever  since  the  Treaty  of  Cherasco,  and  which 
he  had  always  been  intensely  anxious  to  recover. 
But  the  Imperialists  had  other  views,  and  desired 
to  carry  the  war  on  to  French  soil,  by  the  invasion 
of  Dauphine.  Their  counsels  ultimately  prevailed, 
and  in  August  the  Allies  crossed  the  frontier  in 
two  divisions,  the  Duke  marching  on  Embrun, 
while  the  Germans  invested  Gap.  Both  places  fell, 
and  the  most  deplorable  excesses  were  committed 
by  the  invaders,  eager  to  avenge  the  ravaging  of 
the  Palatinate  and  Piedmont. 

Here,  however,  their  successes  terminated;  for, 
at  Embrun,  Victor  Amadeus  was  seized  with  the 
dangerous  illness  of  which  we  have  spoken  else- 
where, and  this  so  discouraged  the  Allies  that, 
though  Grenoble  lay  to  all  appearances  at  their 
mercy,  they  decided  not  to  prosecute  the  campaign, 
and  fell  back  into  Savoy. 

The  following  July  found  the  Duke,  though 
still  weak  from  sickness,  once  more  at  the  head  of 
his  troops.  Pinerolo  was  now  invested,  and  the 
Fort  of  Santa-Brigida,  one  of  its  outlying  defences, 
carried  by  assault.  But  on  Pinerolo  itself  the 
Allies  could  make  no  impression ;  and  on  October  4, 
Catinat  suddenly  swooped  down  from  the  moun- 
tains, fell  upon  the  investing  army  at  Marsaglia, 
and  utterly  routed  it. 

Notwithstanding  the  successes  of  Catinat,  Louis 
xiv  had  been  for  some  time  past  anxious  to  detach 
Victor  Amadeus  from  the  League,  in  order  to 
strengthen  his  armies  on  the  Rhine  and  in  the 
Netherlands ;  and  Croissy,  who  on  the  death  of 
Louvois — whose  aggressive  counsels  in  regard  to 
Savoy  had  been  the  principal  cause  of  the  rupture 


with  that  country — had  resumed  the  entire  direction 
of  foreign  affairs,  was  of  the  same  mind.  Accord- 
ingly, at  the  end  of  December  1691,  the  Marquis 
de  Chamlay  was  sent  to  Pinerolo,  with  instructions 
to  intimate  to  the  Court  of  Turin  his  Majesty's 
desire  to  come  to  terms.  His  advances,  however, 
were  by  no  means  favourably  received,  the  super- 
cilious tone  which  he  adopted  towards  Victor 
Amadeus  having,  it  would  appear,  greatly  irritated 
the  Duke,  and  at  the  end  of  two  months  he  returned 
to  France,  leaving  matters  much  as  they  were 

Recognising  that  so  delicate  a  mission  called 
for  the  services  of  a  more  skilful  and  supple  diplo- 
matist, Louis  xiv  chose,  to  succeed  Chamlay,  Rene 
de  Froullay,  Comte  de  Tesse,  a  person  little  estim- 
able as  a  man,  if  we  are  to  believe  Saint-Simon, 
but  "  of  distinguished  appearance,  shrewd,  adroit, 
courteous,  polished,  and  obliging, "  a  noted  raconteur, 
and  one  of  the  most  charming  letter  -  writers  of 
his  time.  Saint-Simon,  with  his  usual  indifference 
to  the  truth  where  persons  whom  he  dislikes  are 
concerned,  states  that  "  he  pushed  his  good-fortune 
to  such  remarkable  lengths  as  to  become  a  Marshal 
of  France  without  having  heard  a  musket  fired."  * 
But,  so  far  from  being  a  carpet-knight,  Tesse  saw 
service  in  Flanders,  Italy,  and  Spain,  and  at  the 
siege  of  Veillane,  in  1691,  was  wounded  "par  un 
eclat  de  grenade  gros  comme  un  petit  ceuf  de  ftoule."  2 
However,  though  he  appears  to  have  been  a  brave 
and  capable  officer,   his  true  metier  was  not  war 

1  Memoires. 

2  Letter  of  Tesse  to  Louvois,  June  7,  1691,  Rousset,  Histoire  de 


but  diplomacy,  in  which  he  rendered  his  country 
services  which  history  has  perhaps  too  little 

A  few  weeks  before  Chamlay  was  sent  to 
Pinerolo,  Tesse  had  established  himself  there  as 
"  commandant  for  the  service  of  the  King  of  the 
fortresses  and  frontiers  of  Piedmont,"  and  after 
the  marquis's  return  to  France,  he  lost  no  time 
in  picking  up  the  thread  of  the  negotiations.  War 
in  the  seventeenth  century  was  a  singular  com- 
pound of  cruelty  and  courtesy.  If  conquered 
territory  were  mercilessly  ravaged,  towns  and 
villages  burned  to  the  ground,  and  neither  age 
nor  sex  respected,  this  did  not  prevent  the  generals 
on  either  side  from  sending  each  other  presents  of 
wine  and  fruit,  facilitating  the  passage  of  letters 
relating  to  private  affairs,  and,  in  short,  showing  to 
one  another  every  consideration  which  one  gentle- 
man might  expect  from  another  ;  and  Tesse  was 
careful  to  allow  no  opportunity  to  pass  of  rendering 
himself  agreeable  to  the  Duke  of  Savoy  and  his 
Ministers.  Thus,  we  find  him  felicitating  Victor 
Amadeus  on  the  improvement  in  his  health  after 
his  dangerous  illness  at  Embrun,  and  assuring  him 
that  his  master  would  be  only  too  willing  to  place 
the  services  of  the  best  French  physicians  at  his 
disposal  ;  offering  the  Marquis  de  Saint-Thomas, 
when  he  also  fell  ill,  passports  for  any  watering- 
place  in  France  which  his  medical  advisers  might 
recommend,  adding  that,  if  it  were  inconvenient 
for  the  Minister  to  leave  his  post  just  then,  he  would 
give  orders  for  whatever  waters  he  desired  to  be 
bottled  and  despatched  to  Turin,  and  giving  per- 
mission for  the  passage  of  certain  relics  which  the 


'         .     (  om/e  </<■  'l\\s\\-c . 

■  ./<•-••  Cr, //,•/•,'. .■  .V'',   Mort  /•■  3o.Jn.ay  I7p5. 



A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY  53 

Duchess   of    Savoy   was   anxious   to   send   to   the 
Convent  of  the  Val-de  Grace.1 

The  excellent  relations  which  the  astute  French- 
man soon  succeeded  in  establishing  with  the  Court 
of  Savoy  did  not  a  little  to  facilitate  the  negotia- 
tions, which  were  carried  on  through  the  medium 
of  one  Groppel,  auditor  of  the  War  Office  at  Turin, 
who  went  to  and  fro  between  Pinerolo  and  the 
capital  disguised  as  a  peasant,  since  it  was  of  the 
utmost  importance  that  no  inkling  of  what  was 
in  progress  should  reach  the  Duke's  allies,  and 
the  slightest  indiscretion  might  have  ruined 
everything.  Victor  Amadeus  had  suffered  far  too 
severely  at  the  hands  of  his  redoubtable  foe  not 
to  desire  an  accommodation,  if  such  could  be 
arranged  on  his  own  terms.  But  the  price  he 
demanded  for  his  defection  was  a  very  high  one, 
since  he  was  well  aware,  as  was  Louis  xiv,  that 
though,  from  a  military  and  financial  point  of  view, 
Savoy  was  one  of  the  weakest  members  of  the 
League,  her  geographical  position  rendered  her 
co-operation  absolutely  essential  to  the  success- 
ful carrying  on  of  the  war.  The  evacuation  of 
his  dominions  by  the  French,  the  restoration 
of  all  conquests,  an  ample  indemnity  for  the  ex- 
pense to  which  he  had  been  put,  and,  lastly,  the 
cession — or  rather  the  restoration — of  Pinerolo, 
the  fortress  to  the  possession  of  which  Richelieu 
had  attached  such  enormous  importance, 
these  were  the  conditions  on  which  this  prince, 
who  had  seen  his  territory  over-run,  his  palaces 
burned,   and  the  enemy  encamped  almost  at  the 

1  Comte  d'Haussonville,  la  Duchesse  de  Bonrgogne  et  r  Alliance 
savoyardc  sous  Louis  xiv. 


gates  of  his  capital,  was  prepared  to  treat  with  his 
victorious  foe.  If  they  were  acceded  to,  he  would 
engage  to  abandon  the  League,  and  use  his  good 
offices  with  the  Emperor  and  the  King  of  Spain  to 
bring  about  a  general  peace  ;  while,  in  the  event 
of  his  mediation  being  unsuccessful,  he  would  be 
prepared  to  range  himself  openly  on  the  side  of 

Nevertheless,  exorbitant  as  the  Duke's  pro- 
positions may  appear,  Louis  xiv,  after  some  little 
hesitation,  decided  to  accept  them ;  for,  in  his 
opinion,  no  sacrifice  was  too  great,  if  only  thereby 
the  compactness  of  the  League  could  be  shaken. 
But,  since  his  nephew's  conduct  during  recent 
years  had  inspired  him  with  the  most  profound 
distrust,  he  insisted  on  receiving  guarantees  against 
any  breach  of  faith  on  his  part,  and  suggested 
that  certain  towns  and  fortresses  in  Savoy  and 
Piedmont  should  remain  in  the  possession  of 
France,  or,  at  any  rate,  be  garrisoned  by  the  troops 
of  some  neutral  State,  until  the  conclusion  of  the 
general  peace.  To  this  Victor  Amadeus  demurred, 
but  expressed  his  willingness  to  give  hostages  in- 
stead, and  proposed  that  his  elder  daughter,  the 
Princess  Adelaide,  and  the  eldest  son  of  the  Prince 
di  Carignano,  then  heir  presumptive  to  the  throne, 
should  be  sent  to  France. 

The  Duke's  offer,  however,  does  not  appear  to 
have  been  taken  very  seriously  at  Versailles,  for 
Victor  Amadeus  had  not  shown  himself  so  affection- 
ate a  father  as  to  lead  Louis  xiv  and  his  Ministers 
to  believe  that  the  prospect  of  an  indefinite  separa- 
tion from  one  of  his  daughters  would  deter  him 
from   breaking   his   engagements   to    them,    if   he 


were  so  inclined  ;  and,  as  the  Prince  di  Carignano 
refused,  on  any  consideration,  to  part  with  his  son, 
the  negotiations  looked  like  breaking  down,  when 
the  Duke  of  Savoy  made  a  fresh  proposal.  This 
was  that  the  Princess  Adelaide  should  be  brought 
up  at  the  French  Court  ;  and  that  when  she  had 
attained  a  marriageable  age,  she  should  wed  Louis, 
Due  de  Bourgogne,  eldest  son  of  the  Dauphin.1 

The  documents  preserved  in  the  French  Archives 
leave  us  in  some  doubt  as  to  whether  this  proposal 
was  a  spontaneous  one  on  the  part  of  Victor 
Amadeus,  or  whether  he  had  not  received  a  hint 
from  Tesse  that  such  an  arrangement  would  be 
the  easiest  way  out  of  the  difficulty.  Any  way, 
Louis  xiv  seems  to  have  regarded  it  as  a  sufficient 
proof  of  the  Duke's  intention  to  keep  faith  with 
him,  and  by  the  middle  of  April  1693  matters 
had  so  far  progressed  that  the  Court  of  Turin  sub- 
mitted to  Tesse  a  rough  draft  of  the  projected 
treaty,  one  of  the  articles  of  which  stipulated  that, 
though  the  marriage  in  question  should  not  take 
place  until  the  parties  had  reached  a  suitable  age, 
the  contract  should  be  drawn  up  forthwith.  To 
which  proposition  Tesse  replied  :  "I  shall  have 
the  honour  of  treating,  in  the  name  of  the  King  and 
of  Monseigneur*  of  the  marriage  of  the  Due  de 
Bourgogne  with  the  Princess  of  Savoy,  the  contract 
relating  to  which  shall  be  signed  and  concluded  at 
the  same  time  as  the  present  treaty,  the  consumma- 
tion thereof  to  be  postponed  to  the  time  when  age 
will  permit  of  it." 

1  The  Due  de  Bourgogne  was  now  in  his  eleventh  year,  having 
been  born  on  August  6,  1682. 

2  The  Dauphin. 


However,  though  in  principle  the  parties  were 
now  in  accord,  the  time  which  had  been  consumed 
in  haggling  over  the  price  of  Victor  Amadeus's 
defection  had  brought  them  to  the  verge  of  a  new 
campaign,  and  it  was  impossible  for  the  Duke  to 
conclude  the  negotiations  and  abandon  his  allies 
at  that  moment,  however  much  he  might  desire 
to  do  so.  His  immediate  object,  indeed,  was  to 
conceal  from  the  Imperialists  the  game  he  was 
playing  ;  and  it  was  no  doubt  this  motive  which 
led  him  to  assist  at  the  siege  of  Pinerolo,  notwith- 
standing that  he  was  still  so  weak  from  sickness 
as  scarcely  to  be  able  to  keep  his  saddle. 

The  campaign  ended  in  the  sanguinary  defeat 
of  the  Allies  at  Marsaglia,  and  it  is  certainly  a 
striking  proof  of  the  strength  of  Victor  Amadeus's 
position  that,  a  month  after  this  disaster,  he  should 
have  resumed  the  negotiations  with  France  without 
abating  one  jot  of  his  demands,  and  that  Louis 
xiv,  despite  this  fresh  victory,  should  have  shown 
himself  no  less  anxious  to  come  to  terms. 

The  Duke  now  suggested  that  progress  might 
be  facilitated  if  Tesse  were  to  pay  a  personal  visit 
to  Turin  ;  and  thither  the  Governor  of  Pinerolo 
accordingly  repaired,  disguised  in  a  suit  of  the 
prince's  livery,  which  had  been  sent  him,  and  an 
immense  black  wig,  and  was  introduced,  in  the 
dead  of  night,  by  a  back  staircase,  into  the  Palazzo 
Reale.  Here  he  remained  for  four  days  in  the 
utmost  secrecy,  and  had  several  long  conferences 
with  Victor  Amadeus  and  the  Marquis  de  Saint- 
Thomas.  The  former  repeatedly  protested  his 
desire  to  make  his  peace  with  the  King  of  France ; 
but  he  clung  tenaciously  to  the  conditions  on  which 


he  had  already  expressed  himself  willing  to  abandon 
the  League,  though,  after  the  recent  disastrous 
campaign,  it  was  obvious  that,  if  he  were  to  continue 
the  war,  he  must  be  prepared  to  act  entirely  on  the 
defensive.  He  particularly  insisted  that  if  his 
daughter  went  to  France,  it  should  be  as  the 
affianced  wife  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne,  and  one 
day,  when  in  the  company  of  Tesse,  he  sent  for  the 
little  princesses  and  talked  to  them  for  some  time, 
in  order  that  the  Frenchman  might  have  an  oppor- 
tunity of  forming  an  opinion  of  Adelaide.  Finally, 
Tesse  yielded  on  every  point,  and  promised  to  set 
out  at  once  for  Versailles  to  obtain  Louis  xiv's 
assent  to  the  Duke's  demands  ;  and  Victor  Amadeus, 
putting  his  hand  in  his,  "  swore  by  his  faith  and 
his  word  as  a  man  of  honour  and  a  prince,  that  if 
he  played  false  in  this  matter,  he  would  be  willing 
to  pass  for  a  knave  and  a  dog."  l 

However,  the  affair  was  still  very  far  from 
concluded,  for  the  Duke  of  Savoy  was  a  prince  as 
deficient  in  scruple  as  he  was  fertile  in  resource ; 
and  he  believed  that,  since  Louis  xiv  were  willing 
to  pay  a  high  price  to  detach  him  from  the  League, 
the  Emperor  Leopold  might  be  disposed  to  bid 
even  higher  to  retain  him  in  it.  He  had  promised 
Tesse  that,  so  soon  as  he  received  a  favourable 
answer  from  Versailles,  he  would  send  the  Abbate 
Grimani,  an  astute  Venetian  in  the  service  of 
Savoy,  to  inform  the  Emperor  of  his  intention  to 
withdraw  from  the  Coalition,  and  to  urge  him  to 
make  peace.  But,  though,  when  the  Duke  was 
informed  of  Louis  xiv's  assent  to  his  proposals,  he 

1  Archives    des     Affaires     Etrangeres,     Correspondance     Turin. 
Unsigned  note  of  December  10,  1696,  cited  by  Comte  d'Haussonville. 


lost  no  time  in  despatching  Grimani  to  Austria, 
the  mission  with  which  the  latter  was  entrusted 
was  of  quite  a  different  nature.  His  instructions 
were  to  demand  from  the  Emperor  reinforcements 
sufficient  to  secure  the  total  expulsion  of  the 
French  from  Italy,  and  to  propose  the  betrothal 
of  the  Princess  Adelaide  to  Leopold's  eldest  son, 
the  King  of  the  Romans,  then  thirteen  years  of  age, 
the  marriage  to  take  place  when  the  former  had 
completed  her  fourteenth  year,  until  which  time 
she  was  to  be  brought  up  at  Innsbruck,  under  the 
eye  of  the  Empress.  He  was  further  instructed 
to  inform  his  Imperial  Majesty  that,  if  his  pro- 
posals were  rejected,  the  Duke  of  Savoy  would 
undoubtedly  be  compelled,  in  sheer  self-preserva- 
tion, to  accept  the  very  advantageous  offers  he 
had  already  received  from  Versailles,  to  enter 
into  an  alliance  with  France,  and  give  the  Princess 
Adelaide  in  marriage  to  the  Due  de  Bourgogne. 

These  propositions,  which,  it  will  be  observed, 
were,  with  the  change  of  names,  almost  identical 
with  those  which  Tesse  had  carried  to  Louis  xiv, 
proved  anything  but  acceptable  to  the  Emperor. 
Leopold  had  too  much  on  his  hands  in  Ger- 
many to  think  of  sending  reinforcements  into 
Italy,  and  he  naturally  considered  that  the  heir 
of  the  Holy  Roman  Empire  ought  to  look  far 
higher  than  the  daughter  of  a  prince  of  the  second 
rank.  However,  he  did  not  venture  on  a  direct 
refusal,  but  begged  for  delay,  in  order  to  enable 
him  to  consult  the  Empress  and  his  Ministers  ;  and, 
to  the  intense  disgust  of  Grimani,  the  matter 
dragged  on  until  the  spring  of  1695,  Leopold 
raising   all    kinds    of    objections    to    the    proposed 


marriage,  the  most  curious  of  which  was  perhaps 
his  fear  that,  if  his  son  were  obliged  to  wait  until 
the  mature  age  of  nineteen  before  taking  unto 
himself  a  wife,  he  might  be  tempted  into  vicious 

In  the  meanwhile,  the  Emperor,  determined 
not  to  yield  to  the  demands  of  the  Duke  of  Savoy, 
but  anxious  to  prevent  that  prince  from  throwing 
himself  into  the  arms  of  France,  found  means  to 
enlighten  Louis  xiv  as  to  the  real  object  of  Grimani's 
mission  to  Vienna,  in  the  belief  that  the  discovery 
of  the  double  game  which  Victor  Amadeus  was 
playing  would  so  incense  the  King  that  he  would 
immediately  break  off  his  negotiations  with  Savoy. 
This  not  very  creditable  proceeding,  however, 
served  only  to  hasten  the  defection  which  Leopold 
sought  to  prevent.  Louis  xiv  and  his  Ministers 
had  by  this  time  gauged  the  character  of  Victor 
Amadeus  too  accurately  for  his  duplicity  to  cause 
them  either  surprise  or  indignation,  and  contented 
themselves  by  calling  upon  him  for  an  explana- 
tion. The  Duke,  through  Saint-Thomas,  of  course 
indignantly  denied  the  conduct  attributed  to  him, 
protesting  that  the  prolonged  stay  of  Grimani  in 
Vienna  was  due  to  the  difficulty  of  persuading  the 
Emperor  to  listen  to  his  master's  pacific  counsels. 
But,  recognising  the  danger  of  hesitating  any 
longer  between  France  and  Austria,  he  immediately 
despatched  a  courier  to  Vienna  to  obtain  a  definite 
reply  concerning  the  marriage  of  his  daughter  with 
the  King  of  the  Romans. 

The  courier  returned  with  an  autograph  letter 
from  the  Emperor,  in  which,  while  expressing  his 
pleasure  at  the  Duke's  desire  to  give  the  Princess 


Adelaide  in  marriage  to  his  son,  he  regretted  that, 
owing  to  the  youth  of  the  parties,  it  was  impossible 
for  him  to  arrive  at  present  at  a  definite  decision. 
He  concluded  by  thanking  Victor  Amadeus  for 
the  "  ardent  zeal  "  he  had  shown  in  their  common 
cause, — a  touch  of  irony  which  perhaps  did  not 
make  this  disguised  refusal  any  the  more  palatable 
to  its  recipient. 

Seeing  that  he  had  nothing  to  hope  for  from 
the  side  of  Austria,  Victor  Amadeus  hastened  to 
resume  his  negotiations  with  France,  whom  he 
found  still  as  willing  as  ever  to  come  to  terms, 
though  the  discovery  of  his  double  -  dealing  had 
shown  Louis  xiv  the  importance  of  obtaining 
from  him  some  more  substantial  guarantees  for 
the  execution  of  his  engagements  than  the  person 
of  the  Princess  Adelaide ;  and  this  caused  the 
pourparlers  to  be  prolonged  for  many  months. 
However,  soon  after  the  resumption  of  hostilities 
in  the  spring  of  1695,  France  agreed  to  the  Duke's 
proposal  that  Casale,  which  he  was  preparing  to 
invest  at  the  head  of  a  composite  force  of  Imperial- 
ists, Spaniards,  and  Piedmontese,  should  be  sur- 
rendered to  him,  after  a  sham  siege,  on  condition 
that  it  should  be  subsequently  handed  over  to  the 
Duke  of  Mantua,  its  former  owner,  from  whom 
Louis  xiv  had  purchased  it.  Thus,  one  of  the 
great  objects  of  Victor  Amadeus' s  policy  was 
already  achieved,  and  the  fortress  which  had  shut 
in  Turin  on  its  eastern  side,  and  cut  Piedmont  off 
from  communication  with  Central  Italy,  passed 
into  friendly  hands. 

Slowly  but  surely  the  negotiations  drew  to 
a  conclusion.      On  the    night  of  June  4-5,  1696, 


Tesse  paid  a  second  secret  visit  to  Turin,  "  dis- 
guised as  a  servant  of  the  Adjutant-General  of 
Savoy,"  and  wearing  "  a  very  dark  wig  belonging 
to  Monsieur  le  Marechal  de  Catinat  "  ;  l  and,  after 
more  than  three  weeks  of  incessant  haggling,  a 
treaty  was  signed  by  him  and  Saint  -  Thomas 
(June  24,  1696). 

This  treaty  stipulated  that  Pinerolo  should  be 
given  up  to  Savoy,  on  condition  that  its  fortifica- 
tions were  dismantled  ;  that  France  was  to  restore 
forthwith  all  conquests,  with  the  exception  of 
Montmelian  and  Susa,  which  were  to  remain  in 
her  possession  until  the  conclusion  of  the  general 
peace  ;  and  that  the  Princess  Adelaide  should  be 
formally  betrothed  to  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  and 
sent  to  the  French  Court,  where,  so  soon  as  she 
had  attained  her  thirteenth  year,  the  marriage  was 
to  be  celebrated,  Louis  xiv  engaging  to  provide  the 
dowry.  Finally,  Victor  Amadeus  obtained  a  dis- 
tinction which  his  House  had  long  coveted,  namely, 
that  his  Ambassadors  should  be  treated  hence- 
forth in  France  like  those  of  crowned  heads,  and 
the  title  of  Royal  Highness  conferred  on  himself 
in  all  public  acts. 

In  return  for  these  concessions,  the  Duke 
engaged  to  use  his  influence  to  obtain  from  his  old 
allies  their  recognition  of  the  neutrality  of  Italy ; 
and,  should  they  refuse,  to  unite  his  forces  with 
those  of  the  King  of  France.  In  this  eventuality, 
he  was  to  be  given  the  command  of  the  Franco- 
Piedmontese  troops,  and  receive,  in  virtue  of  this 

1  A  treaty  had  already  been  signed  by  Tesse  and  Groppel,  at 
Pinerolo,  on  the  30th  of  the  preceding  month  ;  but  Victor  Amadeus 
subsequently  refused  to  ratify  it,  on  the  ground  that  he  could  not 
accept  the  conditions  on  which  Pinerolo  was  to  be  restored  to  him. 


appointment,  the  sum  of  100,000  crowns  a  month 
so  long  as  the  war  lasted. 

Thus,  after  six  years  of  warfare,  in  which  he 
had  suffered  an  almost  unbroken  series  of  reverses, 
Victor  Amadeus,  thanks  to  his  own  adroitness  and 
the  exhausted  condition  to  which  her  sovereign's 
pride  and  ambition  had  reduced  France,  had  the 
satisfaction  of  realising  the  double  end  which  from 
his  boyhood  he  had  always  kept  steadily  in  view  : 
the  restoration  of  Casale  to  Mantua  and  that  of 
Pinerolo  to  Savoy  ;  had  rescued  his  country  from 
the  servitude  in  which  she  had  been  held  since 
the  Treaty  of  Cherasco  ;  had  re-established  with 
her  western  neighbour,  if  only  for  a  brief  period, 
those  cordial  relations  which  were  so  greatly  to 
the  interests  of  both  States  to  maintain ;  and  had 
betrothed  his  daughter  to  a  prince  who  would  in 
all  probability  live  to  ascend  the  greatest  throne 
in  Christendom. 

Reserved  and  secretive  though  he  naturally  was, 
the  Duke  had  great  difficulty  in  dissimulating  the 
exultation  which  this  extraordinary  transforma- 
tion in  his  fortunes  occasioned  him  ;  and  Tesse 
wrote  to  Louis  xiv,  that  in  the  privacy  of  his  own 
apartments,  when  he  believed  himself  unobserved 
save  by  his  confidential  attendants,  he  might  be 
seen  "  striking  attitudes  before  his  mirror,  felicita- 
ting himself  on  the  great  affair  which  he  had  brought 
to  a  conclusion,  and  capering  like  a  man  whom 
joy  inspired  with  involuntary  movements." 

Yet,  in  the  light  of  future  events,  who  shall 
say  that  the  delight  which  manifested  itself  in  so 
ludicrous  a  manner  was  not  abundantly  justified  ? 
For  the  treaty  signed  that  summer's  day  at  Turin 


had  secured  to  the  House  of  Savoy  infinitely  more 
than  what  we  have  mentioned  above — infinitely 
more  than  the  Duke  could  have  foreseen,  even  in 
his  most  ambitious  dreams.  It  had  laid  the 
foundation  on  which,  more  than  a  century  and 
a  half  later,  the  descendants  of  Victor  Amadeus 
were  to  rear  the  fabric  of  an  independent  and 
united  Italy. 


Tesse's  mission  to  Turin — Joy  of  the  Duchess  of  Savoy  at  the 
conclusion  of  peace  with  France  and  the  approaching  marriage 
of  her  daughter  to  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  —  Sentiments  of  the 
Princess  Adelaide — An  amusing  comedy — Reports  of  Tesse  con- 
cerning the  princess — Portraits  of  her  sent  to  Versailles — Mission 
of  Mansfeld  to  Turin — Victor  Amadeus,  in  conjunction  with  the 
French,  invades  the  Milanese — Suspension  of  hostilities  in  Italy — 
Indignation  of  the  Allies  at  the  defection  of  the  Duke  of  Savoy 
— Marriage -contract  of  the  Princess  Adelaide  and  the  Due  de 
Bourgogne — Trousseau  of  the  princess — The  signing  of  the  con- 
tract— Formation  of  the  princess's  household — Great  and  acri- 
monious competition  for  the  post  of  dame  d'honneuv — The  Duchesse 
du  Lude  nominated — Other  nominations — The  question  of  the 
waiting-women — Victor  Amadeus  declines  to  permit  the  Duchess 
of  Savoy  to  accompany  her  daughter  to  France — Selection  of  the 

ON  July  12,  1696,  an  armistice  for  two  months 
was  signed  between  France  and  Savoy,  and 
Victor  Amadeus  suggested  that  Tesse  should 
be  again  sent  to  Turin,  nominally  as  a  hostage, 
but  really  to  complete  the  arrangements  for  the 
marriage  of  the  Princess  Adelaide  and  the  Due  de 
Bourgogne.  The  French  Government  assented, 
though  Tesse  does  not  appear  to  have  relished 
altogether  the  idea  of  putting  himself  in  the  power 
of  the  Duke  of  Savoy,  and  wrote  pathetically  to 
Croissy,  begging  him  "  not  to  leave  him  too  long 
in  the  ambiguous  position  of  a  hostage,"  as  he 
recalled  an  instance  in  which,  through  some  un- 
fortunate misunderstanding,  which  was  not  recti- 



lied  until  too  late,  one  of  these  gentlemen  had 
been  hanged ;  adding  that  nothing  but  his  regard 
for  the  service  of  the  King  would  have  induced  him 
to  accept  such  a  post. 

However,  as  he  was  a  very  magnificent  person- 
age indeed,  these  apprehensions  did  not  prevent 
him  from  making  a  most  imposing  entry  into 
Turin,  where  he  arrived  on  the  day  after  the  signing 
of  the  armistice,  accompanied  by  the  Marquis  de 
Bouzols,  a  son-in-law  of  the  Minister  for  Foreign 
Affairs,  who  was  also  to  remain  as  a  hostage  until 
the  end  of  the  truce,  and  a  suite  which  required 
thirty  mules  to  transport  their  baggage.  He 
speedily  discovered  that  there  was  to  be  very 
little  ambiguity  about  his  mission  in  the  eyes  of 
the  citizens ;  for,  though  the  treaty  which  had  been 
signed  a  fortnight  before  had  been  kept  a  profound 
secret,  the  impression  that  the  armistice  was  but 
the  harbinger  of  peace  was  general,  and  the  arrival 
of  the  commandant  of  Pinerolo  was  regarded  as 
placing  the  matter  beyond  all  doubt.  As  the 
Turinese  were  by  this  time  heartily  weary  of  the 
war,  their  delight  at  the  prospect  of  its  speedy 
termination  knew  no  bounds ;  and  scarcely  had 
Tesse  passed  the  gates,  when  he  found  himself 
surrounded  by  an  enormous  crowd,  which  greeted 
him  with  frenzied  acclamations,  amid  which  cries 
of  "  Vive  le  Rot/"  might  have  been  heard. 

The  cortege  made  its  way  through  the  surging 
throng  to  the  Palazzo  Reale,  at  one  of  the  windows 
of  which  stood  the  Duchess  of  Savoy,  with  the 
Princess  Adelaide  behind  her.  The  conclusion 
of  the  peace  between  France  and  Savoy,  and  the 
stipulation  of  the  marriage  by  which  the  agree- 


ment  had  been  sealed,  was  a  great  joy  to  Anne 
d'Orleans.  During  six  years  her  heart  had  been 
torn  between  her  natural  affection  for  the  country 
of  her  birth  and  her  loyalty  to  the  land  of  her 
adoption,  while  her  fears  for  her  husband's  safety 
had  made  her  life  one  perpetual  martyrdom. 
Now,  at  last,  she  was  to  know  peace  of  mind  once 
more,  and  moreover  the  dearest  wish  of  her  heart, 
next  to  that  of  occupying  the  first  place  in  her 
husband's  affections,  was  about  to  be  realised. 
For  Anne,  in  the  words  of  Tesse,  had  "  remained 
as  much  a  Frenchwoman  as  though  she  had  never 
crossed  the  Alps,"  and,  almost  from  the  day  when 
she  found  herself  a  mother,  it  had  been  the  dream  of 
her  life  to  see  her  eldest  daughter  wedded  to  the 
Due  de  Bourgogne,  and  one  day  sharing  with  him 
the  throne  of  France.  "  I  could  not  render  an 
adequate  account  to  your  Majesty  of  the  lively 
and  indescribable  joy  of  the  Duchess  of  Savoy," 
writes  Tesse  to  Louis  xiv.  "  She  is  quite  unable 
to  repress  it,  and,  although  she  has  been  warned  to 
be  on  her  guard,  so  as  not  to  allow  the  leaders  of 
the  Allies  to  become  aware  of  the  inclinations  of 
her  heart,  this  princess  cannot  contain  herself, 
and  seizes  every  occasion  to  converse  with  me, 
and  to  speak  of  your  Majesty,  of  her  happiness, 
and  of  her  past  troubles  and  mortifications."  x 
And,  good  courtier  that  he  was,  he  added,  in  a  sub- 
sequent despatch  :  "  Assuredly,  she  has  a  heart 
worthy  of  the  honour  of  being  your  Majesty's 

That  the  Duchess  had  early  communicated  her 

1  Despatch  of   July  20,    1696,   published  by  the  Comtesse  de 
Faverges,  Anne  d'Orleans. 


ambitious  hopes  to  her  little  daughter,  and  had 
brought  her  up  in  the  belief  that  she  was  reserved 
for  this  exalted  destiny,  there  can  be  no  doubt, 
since,  so  far  back  as  the  spring  of  1688,  we  find  the 
industrious  Sourches  recording  in  his  Memoir es 
that  the  Dauphine  had  been  very  distressed  on 
learning  of  the  serious  illness  of  the  Duke  of  Savoy's 
eldest  daughter/  "  not  only  on  account  of  the 
near  relationship,  but  also  because  this  princess, 
child  though  she  was,  had  already  declared  that 
she  could  not  be  happy  unless  she  married  the 
Due  de  Bourgogne."  2 

Nor  can  we  wonder  that  so  brilliant  a  prospect 
should  have  made  an  irresistible  appeal  to  Ade- 
laide's precocious  imagination,  when  we  reflect 
that  she  must  have  been  continually  hearing  from 
her  mother,  her  grandmother,  and  her  gouvernante, 
Madame  des  Noyers,  of  the  splendour  and  magni- 
ficence of  that  Court,  the  like  of  which  Europe  had 
never  seen  before  and  will  certainly  never  see 
again  ;  of  the  brilliant  throng  of  fair  women  and 
brave  men,  radiant  in  many-hued  silks  and  satins 
and  velvets,  and  glittering  with  jewels,  who  basked 
in  the  rays  of  the  Sun  King  ;  of  the  round  of 
splendid  balls,  fetes,  and  masquerades  in  which 
these  favoured  beings  passed  their  days ; 3  of 
the  adoration  with  which  that  mighty  monarch 
before  whose  frown  the  nations  trembled,  and 
every  member  of  his  family,  were  regarded. 

1  Probably  the  illness  in  which  the  Duchess  of  Savoy  fulfilled 
the  duties  of  nurse.     See  p.  40,  supra. 

2  Marquis  de  Sourches,  Memoires,  April  20,  1688. 

3  The  three  ladies  in  question  had,  of  course,  left  the  Court  of 
France  before  the  Maintenon  regime  began.  It  was  a  much  less 
entertaining  place  now. 


On  entering  the  palace,  Tesse  was  required  to 
play  his  part  in  an  amusing  little  comedy.  Although 
he  had  already  paid  two  visits  to  Turin,  one  of 
which  had  lasted  more  than  three  weeks,  he  had 
on  each  occasion  preserved  the  strictest  incognito, 
and  appears  never  to  have  quitted  the  apartments 
allotted  him,  save  under  cover  of  night  and  with 
the  most  elaborate  precautions.  As  it  was  still 
of  the  utmost  importance  to  keep  the  treaty 
between  France  and  Savoy  from  the  knowledge 
of  the  Allies  until  the  moment  for  proclaiming 
it  had  arrived,  he  was  now,  of  course,  officially 
understood  to  be  visiting  Turin  for  the  first  time  ; 
and  his  diplomatic  gravity  seems  to  have  been 
severely  tested  when,  after  Victor  Amadeus  had 
expressed  the  pleasure  it  gave  him  to  welcome 
to  his  Court  a  nobleman  whom  he  had  so  long 
desired  to  meet,  the  Marquis  de  Saint-Thomas, 
with  whom  Tesse  had  formerly  been  closeted  for 
hours  in  earnest  conclave,  approached  and,  with 
a  perfectly  grave  face,  begged  the  Master  of  the 
Ceremonies  to  present  him  to  the  distinguished 
foreigner,  "  as  though  he  had  never  cast  eyes  on 
him  in  his  life." 

The  comedy  was  continued  with  the  Princess 
Adelaide,  who,  although  she  immediately  identified 
Tesse  as  the  person  whom  she  had  previously  met 
in  her  father's  cabinet,  notwithstanding  that  he 
had  then  been  carefully  disguised,  followed  the  in- 
structions she  had  received  from  the  Duke  to  the 
letter,  and  gave  not  the  slightest  sign  of  recog- 
nition when  the  diplomatist  was  presented  to  her. 

Tesse  had  been  expressly  enjoined  by  Louis  xiv 
to  take  every  opportunity  of  observing  his  pros- 


pective  grand-daughter,  and  to  furnish  him  with 
the  most  minute  details  concerning  her.  In  the 
eyes  of  the  King,  the  physique  of  the  little  princess 
whose  children  were  to  carry  on  his  dynasty  was 
of  infinitely  more  importance  than  her  character, 
and  on  this  point  the  envoy  was  fortunately  able 
to  assure  his  master  that  he  need  entertain  no 
misgivings.  "  The  more  I  observe  this  Princess," 
he  writes,  "  the  more  I  am  convinced  that  she 
is  healthy  and  possessed  of  a  sound  constitution." 
And  he  adds  :  "  Whenever  I  have  the  honour  of 
seeing  her,  she  blushes  with  becoming  modesty, 
as  though  the  sight  of  me  reminded  her  of  the 
Due  de  Bourgogne." 

A  miniature  of  Adelaide  had  been  given  to 
Tesse,  by  Groppel,  during  the  conferences  at  Pinerolo 
in  the  preceding  spring,  and  duly  forwarded  to 
Versailles,  and  this  was  followed  by  a  full-length 
portrait  sent  by  the  Duchess  of  Savoy  to  her 
father,  which  the  latter,  needless  to  observe,  lost  no 
time  in  showing  to  the  Due  de  Bourgogne.  That 
young  gentleman  was  graciously  pleased  to  express 
his  approbation  of  the  appearance  of  his  bride- 
elect  ;  indeed,  so  gratified  was  he  that,  happening 
to  meet  Barbezieux,  the  Minister  for  War,  he 
carried  him  off  to  his  apartments  to  admire  it 
in  his  turn. 

The  next  objects  of  interest  relating  to  the 
princess  to  reach  Versailles  were  a  corsage  and  a 
ribbon  lately  worn  by  her  Highness,  which  Tesse 
had  procured,  to  give  the  King  a  correct  idea  of 
the  young  lady's  physical  proportions.  They 
were  directed  to  the  Minister  for  War,  and  must 
have  occasioned  that  functionary  no  little  mystifica- 


tion,  if  he  happened  to  open  the  package  containing 
them  before  the  accompanying  letter. 

The  Court  was  now  fully  enlightened  as  to  the 
face  and  figure  of  the  Princess  Adelaide,  but  it 
was  still  in  doubt  as  to  the  exact  colour  of  her 
hair,  for  Tesse  had  informed  the  King  that,  in  his 
opinion,  the  painter  of  the  portrait  which  the 
Duchess  of  Savoy  had  sent  to  Monsieur  had 
represented  her  hair  "  a  little  less  dark  than  it 
really  was."  However,  he  subsequently  dis- 
covered that  he  had  done  the  artist  an  injustice, 
and  writes  to  Barbezieux,  begging  him  to  tell  his 
Majesty  that,  "  owing  to  the  excessive  quantity  of 
essence  with  which  the  princess's  hair  had  been 
sprinkled  on  the  first  days  on  which  he  had  seen 
her,"  he  had  been  deceived  as  to  its  colour,  which 
was,  in  reality,  "  a  rather  light  chestnut,  and 
lighter  than  the  Dauphine's  1  had  been." 

While  Tesse  was  occupied  in  studying  the 
Princess  Adelaide,  and  in  reporting  the  result  of 
his  observations  to  his  master  at  Versailles,  the 
Allies  had  become  seriously  alarmed  at  the  cessation 
of  hostilities  between  France  and  Savoy  and  the 
presence  of  Tesse  at  the  latter  Court ;  and,  at  the 
beginning  of  August,  the  Imperial  Commissioner 
in  Italy,  the  Graf  von  Mansfeld,2  arrived  in  Turin, 

1  Maria  Anna  Christina  Victoria  of  Bavaria. 

2  Mansfeld  came  to  Turin  preceded  by  a  very  unsavoury  re- 
putation. He  had  formerly  been  Austrian  Ambassador  in  Spain, 
and  it  was  during  his  embassy  at  Madrid  (February  9,  1689)  that  the 
Duchess  of  Savoy's  elder  sister,  Marie  Louise  d'Orleans,  consort 
of  Carlos  11,  had  died  suddenly,  under  highly  suspicious  circum- 
stances. The  belief  that  the  Queen  died  from  the  effects  of  poison 
administered  by  some  agent  of  the  Austrian  faction  at  the  Court 
was  held  by  many  well-informed  persons,  including  Rebenac,  the 
French  Ambassador  at    Madrid  (see  his    despatch    to  Louis  xiv 


charged  by  the  Emperor  to  do  everything  pos- 
sible to  induce  Victor  Amadeus  to  reject  the 
offers  of  France  and  continue  his  support  of  the 

Although  Mansfeld  was  unaware  that  a  treaty 
between  France  and  Savoy  had  actually  been 
signed,  he  soon  perceived  that  matters  had  now 
progressed  so  far  that  nothing  but  the  highest 
bribe  in  his  master's  power  to  offer  could  avert 
such  a  catastrophe  ;  and  he  accordingly  proposed  to 
renew  the  propositions  which  Grimani  had  brought 
to  Vienna  at  the  beginning  of  1694,  and  to  sub- 
stitute the  alliance  with  the  King  of  the  Romans 
for  that  with  the  Due  de  Bourgogne. 

But  now  it  was  the  turn  of  Victor  Amadeus  to 
refuse,  and  it  was  not  without  a  touch  of  irony 
that  he  replied  that  "  the  mother  and  daughter 
were  not  disposed  to  profit  by  so  great  an  advantage, 
and  that,  just  as  his  Imperial  Majesty  had  appeared 
to  believe,  at  one  time,  that  an  alliance  with 
Denmark  was  more  suitable  for  the  Emperor  than 
that  of  Savoy,  it  was  now  believed  at  Turin  that 
that  of  France  was  the  more  advantageous." 
And  when  the  Austrian  pressed  him  to  reconsider 
his  decision,  and  offered  to  engage,  in  his  master's 
name,  to  compel  France  to  restore  Pinerolo,  curtly 
responded  that  "  the  affront  which  his  Imperial 
Majesty  had  offered  the  House  of  Savoy  over  that 

in  the  author's  "Five  Fair  Sisters,"  pp.  386-388),  and  rumour  even 
credited  Mansfeld  with  being  privy  to  the  crime.  That  he  was 
in  any  way  connected  with  it  is,  however,  extremely  improbable, 
and  the  story  related  by  Saint-Simon  of  Olympe  Mancini,  Comtesse 
de  Soissons  having  prepared  a  glass  of  poisoned  milk  at  the 
Austrian  Legation  appears  to  be  a  malicious  invention  of  that 


matter  was  still  too    recent    to    be  effaced  in  a 
moment."  1 

And  so  Mansfeld  took  his  departure,  much 
crestfallen,  to  the  great  joy  of  the  Princess  Adelaide, 
who  had  been  terribly  alarmed  lest  he  should 
succeed  in  persuading  her  father  to  renounce 
the  marriage  on  which  she  had  set  her  heart. 
"  This  princess  observed  yesterday  to  her  mother, 
who  spoke  to  her  of  the  Comte  de  Mansfeld : 
'  Mon  Dieu,  what  has  he  come  here  for  ?  You 
will  see  that  papa  will  listen  to  what  he  says, 
as  he  has  done  before.  That  man  has  no  busi- 
ness here.  Why  does  he  not  leave  you  in 
peace  ? '"  2 

The  armistice  expired  on  September  15,  and 
Victor  Amadeus  having  failed  in  his  efforts  to 
induce  the  Allies  to  recognise  the  neutrality  of 
Italy,  joined  his  forces  to  those  of  Catinat,  and, 
at  the  head  of  an  army  of  fifty  thousand  men, 
entered  the  Milanese  and  proceeded  to  lay  siege 
to  Valenza.  This  bold  stroke  brought  the  war  in 
Italy  to  a  speedy  conclusion,  since  Carlos  11  of 
Spain,  learning  that  the  town  was  on  the  point 
of  capitulating,  brought  so  much  pressure  to  bear 
on  the  Allies,  that,  in  October,  a  treaty  was  signed, 
at  Vigevano,  stipulating  for  a  suspension  of  arms 
until  the  proclamation  of  a  general  peace.  This 
was  not  long  delayed,  as  the  termination  of 
hostilities  in  Italy  left  France  free  to  throw  all 
her  strength  into  the  Netherlands  and  Spain  ;  and 
by  the  end  of  October   1697   the   two  treaties  of 

1  Comte  d'Haussonville,  la  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  et  I' Alliance 
savoyarde  sous  Louis  xiv. 

2  Tesse  to  Louis  xiv,  August  11,  1696. 


Ryswick   had   been   signed,    and   peace   at   length 
reigned  over  the  exhausted  Continent. 

The  defection  of  Victor  Amadeus  excited  the 
utmost  indignation  amongst  his  former  allies. 
In  England,  his  name  was  never  mentioned  save 
in  terms  of  derision  and  contempt ;  at  Milan,  the 
bitterest  imprecations  were  heaped  upon  him  by 
the  Spaniards,  who  "  spoke  of  him  as  a  traitor, 
and  accused  him  of  black  ingratitude  towards  the 
Allies,  whose  blood  he  had  shed  for  the  gratification 
of  his  own  interests";  while  at  the  Hague,  the 
fury  of  the  people  was  such  that  the  Piedmontese 
Legation  had  to  be  guarded  by  troops,  and  the 
Ambassador  wrote  to  the  Duke  that  "  a  plot  had 
been  discovered  to  pillage  his  house  and  tear  him 
in  pieces."  1  "  But,"  writes  the  Italian  historian 
Muratori,  "  persons  skilled  in  politics  were  of  a 
different  opinion.  There  was  general  satisfaction 
(among  the  Italians)  at  this  prince  having  closed 
to  Louis  xiv  the  barriers  of  Italy  by  a  treaty.  All 
the  Peninsula  soon  came  to  regard  Victor  Amadeus 
as  its  benefactor."  2 

By  the  middle  of  September  1696  the  marriage- 
contract  of  the  Princess  Adelaide  and  the  Due 
de  Bourgogne  had  been  drawn  up,  and  Tesse  had 
received  authorisation  from  Versailles  to  sign 
it,  in  the  name  of  Louis  xiv  and  his  grandson. 
Most  of  the  articles  had  presented  little  difficulty, 
but  that  which  provided  for  the  princess's  re- 
nunciation of  her  rights  to  the  throne  of  Savoy 
had  greatly  exercised  the  minds  of  the  juris- 
consults of  the  Crown,  since  the  matter  was  one 

1  The  Marchesa  Vitelleschi,  "The  Romance  of  Savoy." 

2  Muratori,  Annali,  MDCXCVI. 


of  much  more  importance  than  may  at  first  sight 
appear.  The  Duke  had  no  son  and  his  health 
was  far  from  robust,  while  the  heir-presumptive, 
Prince  Philibert  di  Carignano,  was  a  deaf  mute, 
and  though,  having  regard  to  his  affliction,  he 
was  a  man  of  quite  remarkable  intelligence,  his 
claim  to  succeed  was  able  to  be  contested.  In 
the  event,  therefore,  of  her  father's  death  it  might 
very  well  happen  that  Adelaide  would  find  only 
one  life — that  of  Philibert  di  Carignano' s  little 
son — between  her  and  the  throne ;  and  Victor 
Amadeus,  mindful  of  what  had  occurred  almost 
on  the  morrow  of  the  Treaty  of  the  Pyrenees,  when, 
on  the  pretext  of  the  non-payment  of  Maria 
Theresa's  dowry,  Louis  xiv  had  repudiated  his 
consort's  renunciation  of  her  rights  to  the  Spanish 
throne,  was  determined  to  leave  no  loophole 
which  might  enable  his  greedy  and  unscrupulous 
neighbour  to  absorb  Savoy. 

The  stipulations  respecting  the  dowry  of  the 
princess  are  not  without  their  humorous  side. 
It  will  be  remembered  that,  in  the  recently-signed 
treaty  between  France  and  Savoy,  it  was  Louis  xiv 
who  had  engaged  to  dower  the  young  lady.  But 
since,  on  reflection,  Victor  Amadeus  had  come 
to  the  conclusion  that  it  would  be  contrary  to  his 
dignity  to  marry  his  daughter  without  a  dot, 
Article  II  stipulated  that  he  should  provide  her 
with  "  the  sum  of  two  hundred  thousand  gold 
crowns1  or  their  just  equivalent,"  de  la  maniere 
qu'il  a  He  convenu   a   part.2      Well,  this   separate 

1  About  600,000  livres  tournois. 

2  See  Gagniere,  Marie  Adelaide  de  Savoie  :  Lettres  et  Correspond- 
ences, pp.  119  et  seq.,  in  which  the  complete  text  of  the  marriage- 
contract  will  be  found. 


arrangement  was  a  deed  whereby  Louis  engaged 
to  give  his  future  grand-daughter  200,000  crowns, 
and — another  proof  that  Victor  Amadeus  had 
not  forgotten  what  followed  the  Treaty  of  the 
Pyrenees — to  guarantee  and  to  hold  absolved  the 
said  lord  Duke  of  Savoy  and  his  heirs  from  all 
annoyance  on  the  subject  of  the  said  dowry." 

Although  Victor  Amadeus  had,  by  this  singular 
expedient,  succeeded  in  shifting  the  burden  of  his 
daughter's  dowry  on  to  the  shoulders  of  Louis  xiv, 
while,  at  the  same  time,  preserving  his  dignity,  he 
was  naturally  obliged  to  defray  the  cost  of  her 
trousseau  out  of  his  own  purse.  He  seems,  how- 
ever, to  have  been  determined  to  escape  as  cheaply 
as  he  could,  and  the  bills  for  the  princess's  frills 
and  furbelows  only  reached  the  comparatively 
moderate  total  of  53,905  francs.  And,  sad  to 
relate,  it  was  not  until  more  than  fifteen  years  had 
elapsed,  and  poor  Adelaide  was  in  her  grave,  that 
his  Royal  Highness  —  or  rather  his  Majesty,  as 
Victor  Amadeus  had  by  that  time  become — could 
make  up  his  mind  to  discharge  them. 

We  append  the  accounts,  which  have  been 
published  in  M.  Gagniere's  work,  and  may  not  be 
without  interest  to  the  reader  : — 

Summary  of  the  expense  incurred  for  the  trousseau 
of  the  late  Dauphine  of  France,  elder  daughter 
of  their  Majesties  of  Sicily. 

Bistori  and  Giovanneti,  merchants,  for  gold  and 

silver  brocades 13,160  fr.  15 

Barberis  and  Roland,  linen  and  lace     .         .         .  24,210  fr.  9 

Andrea  Ricaldini,  for  Venetian  point  .         .         .  1,642  fr.  9 
Peretti   and    Sachetti,    silver-smiths,   gold   and 

silver  work  for  the  toilette    ....  9,538  fr.  13 


Servan,  embroiderer,  for  embroidery  on  petticoats  2,750  fr. 

Maurel,  shoemaker,  for  shoes       ....  106  fr. 

Marchetti,  for  ribbons 195  fr. 

Bassurello  Compaire,  for  baskets  ....  261  fr.  50 
Ausermetto,  joiner,  for  a  box  of  violet- wood  for 

the  silver  toilette-set 360  fr. 

Varnier,  coachmaker.     Cost  of  the  sedan-chair, 

and  repairs  for  those  of  the  ladies  of  her  suite  1682  fr.  11 

Total        .        .     53>9°5  fr.  19 

M.  Gagniere  observes  that,  at  5  per  cent, 
interest,  the  unfortunate  tradesmen  of  the  House 
of  Savoy  must  have  lost,  through  the  delay  in 
settling  their  accounts,  close  upon  26,000  francs. 
Assuredly,  the  privilege  of  placing  the  Royal  Arms 
over  the  doors  of  one's  shop  was  a  costly  one  in 
those  days  ! 

The  signing  of  the  marriage-contract,  which 
took  place  on  September  15,  1696,  was  a  most 
impressive  ceremony.  Between  ten  and  eleven 
o'clock  in  the  morning,  the  whole  Court  of  Savoy, 
dressed  in  gala  costume,  repaired  to  the  apart- 
ments of  the  Duchess,  where  they  found  the 
Royal  Family  assembled.  The  Duke  "  was 
powdered  and  habited  in  a  handsome  costume"; 
the  Duchess,  "  whose  countenance  expressed  in- 
effable joy,"  wore  "  a  suitable  quantity  of  dia- 
monds "  ;  Madame  Roy  ale  was  "  adorned  with 
all  the  jewels  she  possessed "  ;  while  the  two 
princesses,  their  aunt  the  Princess  di  Carignano, 
and  their  respective  suites,  were  all  in  full  Court 

When  all  were  assembled,  the  company  pro- 
ceeded to  the  Chapel  Royal  to  hear  Mass.     Tesse, 


who  had  lately  been  nominated  equerry  to  the 
bride-elect,  having  the  honour  of  escorting  that 
princess,  "  who,"  he  assures  Louis  xiv,  "  acquitted 
herself  of  her  duties  with  a  facility  which  had 
astonished  him."  Mass  over,  the  Royal  Family, 
accompanied  by  the  Nuncio,  the  Archbishop  of 
Turin,  Tesse,  the  Chancellor  of  Savoy,  the 
Ministers,  the  Marchese  di  Dronero,  Grand  Marshal 
of  the  Palace,1  and  the  princesses'  ladies  -  of  - 
honour,  returned  to  the  Duchess's  apartments, 
where  the  Marquis  de  Saint-Thomas  read  to  them 
the  marriage  -  contract.  Then  a  copy  of  the 
Gospels  was  brought  in,  and  after  Adelaide  and 
Tesse,  on  behalf  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne,  had 
touched  it  "at  every  place  where  the  contract  of 
marriage  is  mentioned,"  the  all-important  docu- 
ment was  signed  by  every  one  present,2  the  young 
princess  appending  her  signature  "  with  courage, 
modesty,  and  dignity." 

At  the  conclusion  of  the  ceremony,  the  doors 
were  thrown  open,  and  all  who  desired  were  per- 
mitted to  enter  and  kiss  the  princess's  hand.  Soon 
the  enthusiasm  increased  and  culminated  in 
general  and  spontaneous  salutations  ;  and  the 
diverting  spectacle  might  have  been  witnessed  of 
a  hundred  women  and  twice  as  many  men,  falling 

1  Philibert  d'Este.  He  was  descended  from  a  legitimate 
daughter  of  Charles  Emmanuel  1,  and  was  styled  a  "  nobleman  of 
the  Blood." 

2  But  not  until  there  had  been  a  heated  dispute  between  the 
Archbishop  of  Turin  and  the  Marchese  di  Dronero,  as  to  which  had 
the  right  to  sign  before  the  other,  the  marquis  claiming  to  take 
precedence  of  the  prelate,  in  virtue  of  his  connection  with  the 
Royal  Family.  See  Relation  du  mariage  de  la  Princesse  Marie- 
Adelaide  de  Savoie  avec  le  Due  de  Bourgogne,  by  the  Conte  di  Vernone, 
Master  of  the  Ceremonies  at  Turin,  in  Gagniere. 


on  one  another's  necks  and  "  exchanging  all  the 
outward  manifestations  of  a  veritable  satisfaction."  * 

The  marriage-contract  signed,  the  question  of 
the  ceremonial  to  be  observed  during  the  Princess 
Adelaide's  journey  to  France  and  on  her  arrival 
there,  and  that  of  the  composition  of  her  House- 
hold, engaged  the  attention  of  the  two  Courts. 

Since  there  was  no  longer  either  a  Queen  or  a 
Dauphine  in  France,  Maria  Theresa  having  died 
in  1683,  and  Maria  Anna  of  Bavaria  in  1690,  the 
wife  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  would  become 
the  first  lady  in  the  land,  though,  of  course,  during 
the  King's  lifetime,  the  influence  exercised  by 
his  morganatic  consort,  Madame  de  Maintenon, 
was  never  likely  to  be  challenged.  The  coming  of 
the  Princess  Adelaide  was  therefore  regarded  at 
Versailles  as  an  event  of  supreme  importance,  and 
there  were  few,  indeed,  who  were  not  already 
busily  speculating  as  to  what  effect  the  advent 
of  this  little  girl  of  eleven  was  likely  to  have  upon 
their  own  prospects. 

Louis  xiv  had  decided  that  the  princess's 
Household  was  to  be  composed  of  a  lady-of-honour 
(dame  d'honneur),  a  mistress  of  the  robes  (dame 
d'atour),  six  ladies-in-waiting  (dames  du  ftalais), 
five  waiting  -  women  (femmes  de  chambre),  a 
chevalier  d'honneur,  a  first  equerry,  an  almoner, 
and  a  confessor  ;  and  the  question  of  who  were  to 
fill  the  more  important  of  these  posts  threw  the 
Court  into  a  perfect  ferment  of  excitement. 

The  most  important  office  of  all  was  that  of  dame 
d'honneur,  the  fortunate  holder  of  which  would 
enjoy  several  highly-prized  privileges,  among  which 

1  Tesse  to  the  King,  September  16,  1696. 


may  be  mentioned  those  of  taking  precedence  of 
all  ladies  not  of  the  royal  blood  or  married  to 
Princes  of  the  Blood,  and  of  riding  with  her  mis- 
tress in  the  King's  coach.  That  such  a  post 
should  have  at  once  become  an  object  of  ambition 
to  every  lady  whose  rank  or  degree  of  favour  gave 
her  the  smallest  hope  of  being  selected  for  it  is 
easy  to  understand,  and,  as  none  of  them  seem  to 
have  been  particularly  fastidious  as  to  the  means 
she  employed  to  exalt  her  own  qualifications 
and  disparage  those  of  her  competitors — "  anony- 
mous letters,  delations,  and  false  reports "  were 
freely  employed,  if  we  are  to  believe  Saint-Simon 
—  the  contest,  if  not  very  edifying,  did  not 
lack  features  of  interest.  The  candidates  whose 
chances  were  the  most  highly  esteemed  were  the 
Duchess  de  Crequy,  who  had  been  dame  d'honneur 
to  Maria  Theresa,  the  Duchess  d'Arpajon  who 
had  held  the  same  post  in  the  Household  of  the 
late  Dauphine,  the  Marechale  de  Rochefort,  dame 
d'atour  to  the  Duchess  de  Chartres  ;  1  the  Duchesse 
de  Ventadour,  a  daughter  of  the  Marechal  de  la 
Mothe-Houdancourt,  celebrated  in  the  days  of  the 
Fronde ;  and  the  Duchesse  du  Lude,  a  lady  who 
had  married  en  premieres  noces  poor  Henrietta  of 
England's  devoted  admirer,  Armand  de  Gramont, 
Comte  de  Guiche,  and  is  said  to  have  received  the 
news  of  that  nobleman's  untimely  death  with  the 
remark  :    "  He  was  an  amiable  person.     I  should 

1  Frangoise  Marie  de  Bourbon,  called  Mile,  de  Blois,  youngest 
daughter  of  Louis  xiv  and  Madame  de  Montespan  ;  born  1677, 
legitimated  168 1  ;  married  in  1692  to  Philippe  d'Orleans,  Due 
de  Chartres,  afterwards  Regent  of  France,  whose  mother,  the 
second  Madame,  was  so  infuriated  on  learning  of  her  son's  betrothal 
that  she  boxed  his  ears  before  the  whole  Court. 


have  loved  him  passionately,  if  he  had  loved  me  a 

It  was  the  last-named  of  these  grandes  dames 
who  bore  away  the  coveted  prize,  a  result  which 
Saint-Simon  attributes  to  bribery  and  corruption 
of  the  most  outrageous  kind.  If  we  are  to  believe 
his  story,  a  certain  Madame  Barbesi,  a  waiting- 
woman  of  the  Duchesse  du  Lude,  went  to  Madame 
de  Maintenon's  waiting-woman,  Nanon,  who  had 
been  in  her  service  "  since  the  time  when  she  was 
the  widow  Scarron,  living  on  the  charity  of  her 
parish,"  and  enjoyed  her  entire  confidence,  and 
engaged  her,  in  consideration  of  a  sum  of  20,000 
ecus,  to  persuade  her  mistress  to  use  her  influence 
with  the  King  in  favour  of  the  duchess.  When 
Madame  de  Maintenon  is  in  question,  however,  it 
is  generally  advisable  to  take  Saint-Simon's  asser- 
tions with  a  pinch  of  salt  ;  and  the  Duchesse  du 
Lude  would  certainly  appear  to  have  stood  in  no 
need  of  such  questionable  methods  of  bringing  her 
claims  to  the  notice  of  the  King.  Not  only  was 
she  a  very  great  lady  indeed,  both  by  birth  and 
marriage,  but  she  was  very  wealthy,  very  gracious, 
of  a  most  amiable  and  kindly  disposition,  and — what 
Louis  xiv  and  Madame  de  Maintenon  probably 
considered  the  most  important  qualification  of  all — 
though  she  had  been  one  of  the  most  beautiful 
women  of  her  time,  she  could  boast  of  a  reputation 
which  had  come  quite  unscathed  through  forty 
years  of  Court  life.  Any  way,  her  selection  for  the 
post,  as  Saint-Simon  himself  admits,  was  generally 
applauded ;  and  the  Princesse  des  Ursins,  in  a 
letter  to  one  of  her  friends,  expresses  the  opinion 
that  "  the  King  could  not,   from  every  point  of 


view,  have  made  a  better  choice  than  the  Duchesse 
du  Lude." 

The  post  of  dame  d'atour  (mistress  of  the  robes) 
to  the  princess  was  almost  as  eagerly  "  ambitioned  " 
by  the  marchionesses  and  countesses  as  that  of 
dame  d'honneur  had  been  by  the  duchesses  and 
marechales.  But  here  the  influence  which  Madame 
de  Maintenon  was  actively,  though  discreetly, 
exercising  in  the  formation  of  the  new  Household 
revealed  itself  in  no  uncertain  manner;  and  the 
Comtesse  de  Mailly,  who  possessed  the  inestimable 
advantage  over  her  rivals  of  having  that  lady  for 
her  aunt,  was  the  successful  candidate. 

The  same  influence  made  itself  felt  in  the 
selection  of  the  five  dames  du  ftalais,  since  one  of 
those  nominated  was  the  Comtesse  de  Montgon, 
daughter  of  Madame  d'Heudicourt,  one  of  the 
most  intimate  friends  of  Madame  de  Maintenon' s 
early  widowhood.  The  other  four  were  the 
Marquise  de  Nogaret  (nee  Mile,  de  Gontaut-Biron) ; 
the  Marquise  d'O,  the  wife  of  a  descendant  of 
Henri  ill's  favourite,  the  Marquise  du  Chatelet,  a 
member  of  Bellefonds  family,  who  previous  to  her 
marriage  had  been  maid-of-honour  to  the  late 
Dauphine  ;  and  the  Marquise  de  Dangeau,1  the 
lovely  and  amiable  German  wife  of  the  compiler 
of  the  famous  Journal} 

1  Sophie  von  Lowenstein  (not  Levenstein,  as  Dangeau  himself 
writes  the  name).  Madame  de  Sevigne,  speaking  of  her  at  the 
time  of  her  marriage,  describes  as  "la  plus  belle,  la  plus  jolte,  la 
plus  jeune,  la  plus  delicate,  la  plus  nymphe  de  la  cour  "  ;  and 
Saint-Simon  declares  that  she  was  "  beautiful  as  the  day,  formed 
like  a  nymph,  with  all  the  graces  of  the  mind  and  the  body." 

2  Philippe  de  Courcillon,  Marquis  de  Dangeau  (1638-1720), 
soldier,  diplomatist,  poet,  courtier,  diarist,  and  gambler.     Although 



That  versatile  personage  was  himself  appointed 
chevalier  d'honneur  ;  while  Tesse,  as  a  reward  for 
his  diplomatic  services  in  Piedmont,  received  the 
post  of  first  equerry.1  For  the  office  of  confessor, 
a  certain  Pere  Emerique  was  first  proposed,  ap- 
parently by  Cardinal  de  Noailles,  Archbishop  of 
Paris ;  but  this  suggestion  was  rejected  by  the  King 
and  Madame  de  Maintenon,  on  the  ground  that 
he  was  too  austere  a  directeur  for  a  young  girl,  and 
a  Jesuit,  Pere  Le  Comte,  formerly  a  missionary  in 
China,  was  chosen. 

There  remained  the  selection  of  the  femmes  de 
chambre,  which,  singularly  enough,  occasioned  the 
King  infinitely  more  embarrassment  than  that  of 
all  the  rest  of  the  princess's  Household  together, 
and  involved  almost  as  much  correspondence 
between  his  Majesty  and  Tesse  as  the  marriage 

The  difficulty,  however,  was  not  that  of  decid- 
ing between  the  rival  claimants  for  the  honour  of 
brushing  her  Highness' s  hair  and  supervising  her 
complexion,  but  the  demand  of  the  Duke  of 
Savoy  that  certain  of  the  ladies  who  performed 
these  duties  for  his  daughter  in  Turin  should  be 

successful  in  all  these  varied  roles,  he  is  now  best  remembered 
by  his  Journal,  which,  in  spite  of  the  ridicule  poured  upon  it 
by  Voltaire,  who  had  a  grudge  against  the  author,  is  a  work  of 
great  value,  "  the  necessary  complement,  if  not  the  counterpart, 
of  the  Mkmoires  of  Saint-Simon."  Dangeau  is  the  Pamphilus 
of  La  Bruyere's  Caractdres. 

1  Tesse  wrote  asking  for  the  post  in  a  letter  which  the  Comte 
d'Haussonville  describes  as  "  a  masterpiece  of  solicitation,  worthy 
to  be  cited  in  its  entirety,  in  a  collection  of  letters,  as  a  model  of 
its  kind."  It  is,  however,  too  long  to  insert  here.  He  might  have 
spared  himself  the  trouble  of  its  composition,  since  the  King  had 
already  decided  to  give  him  the  appointment. 


permitted  to  continue  them,  for  a  time  at  least, 
at  Versailles. 

Although  there  had  been  for  many  years  past  a 
rule  at  the  Court  of  Louis  xiv  that  foreign  prin- 
cesses coming  to  France  to  marry  princes  of  the 
Royal  House  should  not  be  permitted  to  retain  in 
their  service  any  woman  of  their  own  nationality — 
a  very  wise  precaution,  indeed,  in  view  of  the 
troubles  occasioned  by  the  foreign  favourites  of 
Marie  de'  Medici  and  other  queens — this  regula- 
tion, though  rigidly  enforced  in  regard  to  ladies- 
of-honour  and  ladies-in-waiting,  had  been  oc- 
casionally relaxed  in  favour  of  those  occupying 
subordinate  posts.  Thus,  the  Bavarian  Dauphine 
had  been  permitted  to  bring  with  her  from  Munich 
a  girl  named  Bezzola,  who  attained  so  extraordinary 
a  degree  of  favour  with  her  mistress,  that  the 
latter  was  never  happy  unless  in  her  company, 
and  when,  on  one  occasion,  Mile.  Bezzola  fell  ill, 
the  princess  installed  herself  at  her  bedside,  and 
no  persuasion  could  induce  her  to  leave  it  until 
her  favourite  was  convalescent.  This  infatuation 
naturally  gave  the  greatest  umbrage  to  the  rest 
of  her  Household  and  to  all  the  ladies  of  the  Court, 
and  determined  the  King  on  no  consideration  to 
grant  a  similar  concession  to  the  Princess  Adelaide, 
lest  haply  a  second  Bezzola  should  appear  upon 
the  scene. 

Accordingly,  so  early  as  July  26,  we  find  Louis 
xvi  directing  Tesse  to  inform  the  Duke  of  Savoy 
that  he  considered  it  essential  to  the  princess's 
future  welfare  that  she  should  come  to  France  un- 
accompanied by  any  of  the  women  at  present  in 
her  service.     And  he  added  :  "  He  is  himself  aware 


of  the  inconveniences  which  the  practice  entails, 
and  I  am  persuaded  that  he  will  conform  in  this 
matter  to  what  vou  give  him  to  understand  is  my 

Greatly  to  his  Majesty's  annoyance,  however, 
Victor  Amadeus  showed  himself  very  far  from 
disposed  to  conform  to  his  wishes ;  indeed,  he 
argued  the  matter  as  stoutly  as  he  had  any  clause 
in  the  recent  treaty.  It  would  be  positively  cruel, 
he  declared,  to  isolate  his  daughter,  "  a  mere  baby  of 
eleven  years,"  from  every  one  whom  she  had  been 
used  to  see  about  her  ;  and  he  demanded  that  two  of 
her  waiting-women  and  one  of  the  Court  physicians 
should  be  permitted  to  accompany  her  to  France, 
and  remain  with  her  for  a  few  months,  by  which 
time  she  would  have  become  accustomed  to  her 
new  surroundings,  and  her  Majesty's  physicians 
would  have  begun  to  understand  her  constitu- 

To  this  Louis  xiv  replied  that  the  separation 
from  her  Piedmontese  attendants  would  be  quite 
as  distressing  for  the  princess  three  or  four  months 
hence  as  it  would  be  now,  and  that  it  would  be 
much  better  for  her  to  accustom  herself  from  the 
moment  of  her  arrival  to  the  services  of  those  whom 
he  had  selected.  As  for  the  physician,  so  soon 
as  he  had  acquainted  those  in  the  King's  service 
with  her  Highness' s  constitution,  his  presence  would 
be  altogether  superfluous. 

In  the  hope  of  persuading  the  Duke  to  with- 
draw his  demand,  Tesse  showed  him  the  King's 
despatch.  But  Victor  Amadeus,  instead  of  yield- 
ing, as  he  expected,  shed  tears  of  emotion,  as  he 
bemoaned  the  sad  fate  which  his  Majesty  desired 




to  inflict  upon  his  daughter  ;  and  the  display  of  so 
much  sensibility  on  the  part  of  a  man  generally 
so  self-contained  affected  Tesse  to  such  a  degree 
that  he  began  to  weep  also,  and  wrote  to  the  King 
advising  him  to  grant  the  concession  demanded, 
since  "  it  certainly  appeared  to  him  that,  in  this 
matter,  the  Duke  of  Savoy  was  actuated  by  no 
other  consideration  than  misplaced  tenderness  for 
his  daughter."  x 

Louis  xiv,  however,  was  of  a  different  opinion. 
He  knew  too  much  of  the  domestic  life  of  Victor 
Amadeus  to  have  much  faith  in  the  sincerity  of 
that  prince's  sudden  solicitude  for  his  daughter, 
which  he  shrewdly  suspected  was  nothing  but  a 
pretext  to  enable  him  to  establish  spies,  or,  at 
least,  correspondents  of  his  own,  at  the  Court  of 
France,  who  would  keep  him  informed  of  all  that 
was  passing  there.2  He  therefore  remained  ob- 
durate, and  wrote  to  Tesse  that  he  "  persisted  in 
his  belief  that  the  counsels  of  the  women  whom 
it  was  proposed  should  accompany  the  princess 
would  be  prejudicial  to  her  happiness,"  and  that 
he  was  absolutely  resolved  not  to  permit  her  to 
retain  them  in  her  service  ;  and  he  directed  him 
to  request  the  Duke  of  Savoy  to  give  orders  that 
they  should  not  go  farther  than  the  Pont-de- 
Beauvoisin,  where  his  envoys  would  receive  her. 
'  For,"  he  concludes,  "if  he  believes  that  it  will 
be  a  grief  to  his  daughter  to  part  from  them,  it  is 
more  to  the  purpose  to  allow  her  time  to  console 

1  Tesse  to  the  King,  August  n,  1696. 

2  This  suspicion  was  probably  correct,  since  it  subsequently- 
transpired  that  Victor  Amadeus  had  acted  entirely  on  his  own 
initiative,  and  that  the  little  princess  was  quite  resigned  to  the 
idea  of  parting  with  her  Piedmontese  attendants. 


herself  for  it  during  the  journey,  than  to  cause  her 
this  pain  when  she  reaches  me."  1 

After  some  further  correspondence,  however, 
the  King  finally  consented  to  a  doctor  and  two 
of  Adelaide's  waiting- women  accompanying  her  to 
France.  But  he  said  nothing  as  to  the  length 
of  time  he  intended  to  allow  them  to  remain  there, 
and,  though  Victor  Amadeus  seems  to  have  been 
under  the  impression  that  they  were  to  stay  in- 
definitely with  his  daughter,  his  Majesty  had,  in 
point  of  fact,  decided  that  they  should  be  sent  back 
to  Turin  as  soon  as  the  princess  reached  Fontaine- 
bleau,  and  had  given  orders  to  that  effect. 

In  the  meanwhile,  the  future  Duchesse  de 
Bourgogne's  Household  had  been  completed  by 
the  selection  of  five  French  waiting-women,  of 
whom  the  chief  was  Madame  Quantin,  wife  of  Jean 
Quantin,  maitre  d' hotel  to  the  King. 

The  last  matter  which  Louis  xiv  was  required 
to  decide  was  the  person  who  was  to  receive  the 
Princess  Adelaide,  in  his  Majesty's  name,  on  her 
arrival  at  the  frontier,  and  since  etiquette  de- 
manded that  the  King's  representative  should 
be  of  the  same  rank  as  the  one  charged  by  the 
Duke  of  Savoy  to  escort  his  daughter  thither,  it 
was  necessary  to  ascertain  the  intentions  of  the 
Court  of  Turin.  The  King  had  directed  Tesse  to 
inform  Victor  Amadeus  that  it  would  afford  both 
him  and  his  brother  the  greatest  pleasure  to  see 
the  Duchess  of  Savoy  again  after  a  separation  of 
so  many  years,  and  that  he  sincerely  hoped  that 
he  would  permit  her  to  bring  the  little  princess,  in 

1  The  King  to  Tesse,  September  9, 1696,  published  by  the  Comte 


which  case  he  and  Monsieur  would  come  as  far  as 
Nevers  to  receive  her.1  But  the  Duke,  either 
because  he  feared  to  give  umbrage  to  Madame  di 
Verrua,  who  was  at  this  time  still  high  in  favour 
and  apt  to  take  offence  at  any  consideration 
which  was  shown  to  her  rival,  or,  more  probably, 
because  he  was  disinclined  to  give  his  long-suffering 
consort  an  opportunity  of  explaining  personally 
to  her  father  and  uncle  the  state  of  the  royal 
menage  at  Turin,  excused  himself  from  complying 
with  his  Majesty's  wishes,  on  the  plea  that  the 
Duchess's  health  was  not  strong  enough  to  permit 
her  to  undertake  a  long  journey  so  late  in  the  year. 
And,  though  Tesse  wrote  to  the  King  that  the  poor 
lady  was  "  dying  of  desire  "  to  behold  her  beloved 
France  once  more,  and  he  and  Saint-Thomas  used 
every  persuasion  to  induce  the  Duke  to  relent, 
he  was  inexorable.2 

There  remained  two  other  princesses  of  the 
House  of  Savoy,  namely,  Madame  Royale  and  the 
Princess  di  Carignano,  to  one  of  whom,  under 
ordinary  circumstances,  the  duty  of  escorting  the 
Princess  Adelaide  would  have  been  confided. 
But  Victor  Amadeus  detested  the  former  far  too 
heartily  to  grant  her  any  such  satisfaction;  while 
the  marriage  of  the  latter  had,  it  will  be  remem- 
bered, given  great  offence  to  Louis  xiv,  and  her 
selection,  it  was  feared,  might  be  resented  by 
that  monarch.  He  was  therefore  obliged  to  seek 
his  representative  among  the  chief  nobility  of 
his   Court,    and   nominated    the    Principessa    della 

1  Despatch  of  July  26,  1696. 

2  The  Marchesa  Vitelleschi  states  that  Louis  xiv  was  opposed 
to  the  idea  of  the  Duchess  of  Savoy  accompanying  her  daughter, 
but  she  cannot  be  acquainted  with  the  King's  letter  of  July  26. 


Cisterna,  first  lady-of-honour  to  the  Duchess,  with 
whom  he  associated  the  Marchese  di  Dronero, 
Grand  Marshal  of  the  Palace,  and  first  chamber- 
lain to  the  Duke,  who,  in  virtue  of  his  descent  from 
a  legitimated  daughter  of  Charles  Emmanuel  I, 
ranked  as  a  semi-royal  personage. 

These  nominations  freed  Louis  xiv  from  the 
necessity  of  sending  any  member  of  his  family  to 
the  frontier,  but,  since  the  Marchese  di  Dronero 
was  regarded  in  Savoy  as  "  of  the  Blood,"  he 
selected  as  his  representative  the  Comte  de  Brionne, 
son  of  his  grand  equerry,  the  Comte  d'Armagnac,1 
who,  as  a  scion  of  the  princely  House  of  Lorraine, 
might  reasonably  consider  himself  the  equal,  if  not 
the  superior  in  rank,  of  the  marquis.  With  him 
went  Dangeau  and  the  Sieur  Desgranges,  his 
Majesty's  Master  of  the  Ceremonies,  to  assist  him 
with  his  advice  on  the  questions  of  etiquette 
which  were  sure  to  arise  ;  and,  of  course,  the 
Duchesse  du  Lude  and  the  other  ladies  of  the 
princess's  Household. 

1  The  Comtesse  d'Armagnac  had,  in  1684,  conducted  Anne 
d'Orleans  to  Savoy,  and  the  recollection  of  this  circumstance  may 
not  have  been  unconnected  with  her  son's  selection. 


Reluctance  of  Victor  Amadeus  to  permit  his  daughter  to  set 
out  for  France — The  French  escort  leaves  Versailles — Departure  of 
the  Princess  Adelaide  from  Turin — Her  journey  to  the  frontier — 
Letter  of  the  Conte  di  Vernone  to  Victor  Amadeus — The  princess 
at  Chambery — Questions  of  etiquette — Reception  of  the  princess 
at  the  Pont-de-Beauvoisin — Arrival  at  Lyons — Impressions  of 
the  escort — The  princess  is  received  by  Louis  xiv  at  Montargis 
— Delight  of  the  King — His  letter  to  Madame  de  Maintenon — 
Meeting  of  the  Princess  Adelaide  and  the  Due  de  Bourgogne — 
Arrival  at  Fontainebleau 

WHETHER  from  one  of  those  tardy  awakenings 
of  affection  with  which  the  prospect  of  an 
indefinite  separation  from  their  children 
often  inspires  even  the  most  indifferent  of  parents, 
or  because  he  desired  to  keep  the  little  princess 
with  him  as  a  kind  of  hostage  for  the  performance 
of  Louis  xiv's  engagements,  Victor  Amadeus 
showed  himself  strangely  reluctant  to  part  with 
his  daughter,  and  Tesse  experienced  the  greatest 
difficulty  in  persuading  him  to  name  a  day  for 
her  departure.  The  Duke  even  proposed  that, 
since  the  year  was  so  advanced,  and  the  passage 
of  the  Alps  in  bad  weather  might  prove  a  trying, 
not  to  say,  a  dangerous  one,  for  so  young  a  traveller, 
that  her  journey  should  be  postponed  until  the 
spring,  when  the  risk  of  her  contracting  a  chill 
would  be  appreciably  lessened  ;    and,  though  Tesse 

protested  that,  so  long  as  the  princess  was  protected 



by  "  six  chemises  and  a  cloak,"  she  might  brave 
the  elements  with  impunity,  desired  him  to  ascer- 
tain his  Majesty's  views  upon  the  matter. 

The  King  at  once  directed  Tesse  to  intimate 
to  the  Duke  that  he  could  not  possibly  curb  his 
impatience  to  see  his  future  grand-daughter  for 
another  six  months.  Nevertheless,  Victor  Amadeus 
continued  to  find  pretexts  for  delay,  and  it  was  not 
until  Louis  xiv  caused  him  to  be  informed  that, 
since  he  proposed  to  come  as  far  as  Fontainebleau 
to  meet  the  princess,  and  feared  that,  if  her  arrival 
were  delayed  until  the  late  autumn,  the  dampness 
of  the  forest  at  that  season  might  be  prejudicial 
to  his  health,  that  he  consented  to  fix  her  de- 
parture for  the  first  days  of  October. 

So  soon  as  this  decision  was  known  at  Ver- 
sailles, Louis  xiv,  in  order  apparently  to  allow 
the  Duke  no  opportunity  of  changing  his  mind, 
issued  orders  for  the  immediate  departure  of  the 
retinue  he  had  selected  to  receive  the  future 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  at  the  Pont-de  Beauvoisin  ; 
and  on  September  17  the  cortege  set  out  for  the 
frontier.  It  was,  as  may  be  supposed,  a  most  im- 
posing one,  and  comprised  five  of  the  splendid 
royal  coaches,  each  drawn  by  six  or  eight  horses 
ridden  by  postilions,  which  were  reserved  for  the 
use  of  Brionne,  Dangeau,  the  Duchesse  du  Lude, 
and  the  other  ladies  of  the  princess's  Household, 
and  a  physician,  a  surgeon,  and  an  apothecary 
chosen  from  the  medical  staff  of  his  Majesty ; 
and  a  number  of  less  sumptuous  equipages  for 
the  use  of  the  minor  officers,  the  servants  of  the 
great  personages,  and  certain  officials  of  the  royal 
kitchen,   whom  the   King  had   despatched,   under 


the  guidance  of  his  first  maltre  d'hdtel,  to  prepare 
her  Highness' s  meals.  The  whole  company,  in- 
cluding the  officers  and  soldiers  of  the  Garde  du 
Corps  and  Swiss  Guards  who  escorted  it,  numbered 
some  six  hundred  persons. 

The  cortege  travelled  by  easy  stages  to  Lyons, 
where  it  halted  to  await  news  of  the  Princess 
Adelaide's  movements,  for,  as  the  accommodation 
at  the  Pont-de-Beauvoisin  was  of  a  primitive 
kind,  the  ladies  of  the  party  had  no  desire  to 
arrive  there  a  day  earlier  than  was  absolutely 
necessary.  At  length,  on  October  12,  a  courier 
arrived  with  intelligence  that  the  princess  had 
quitted  Turin  on  the  7th,  and  the  following  day 
the  escort  resumed  its  journey  to  the  frontier. 

The  departure  of  the  princess  had  been  preceded 
by  splendid  fetes  and  rejoicings  at  Turin,  which 
no  doubt  greatly  diverted  the  citizens.  The  young 
lady  in  whose  honour  they  were  organised,  how- 
ever, passed  a  much  less  pleasant  time,  since  from 
morning  till  night  she  appears  to  have  been  occupied 
in  listening  to  addresses  of  congratulation  from 
the  numerous  deputations  who  came  to  wait  upon 
her,  and  in  holding  out  her  hand  to  be  kissed  until 
it  was  positively  sore.  Indeed,  her  grief  at  leaving 
her  native  city  must  have  been  sensibly  mitigated 
by  the  respite  from  these  wearisome  functions 
which  it  afforded  her. 

The  streets  of  Turin  were  densely  crowded  as 
the  royal  cortege  passed  through  them,  and  the 
acclamations  of  the  citizens  testified  in  no  un- 
certain manner  to  the  popularity  of  Victor  Amadeus 
and  their  affection  and  sympathy  for  his  daughter. 
Many  of  the  bystanders  were  moved  to  tears  at 


the  sight  of  the  little  princess  whom  political 
exigencies  had  summoned  from  her  home  at  so 
tender  an  age  ;  but  Adelaide  was  careful  to  control 
her  own  feelings,  and  bowed  and  smiled  graciously 
in  response  to  the  cheers  which  greeted  her.  The 
Duchess  of  Savoy,  Madame  Royale,  and  the  Prince 
and  Princess  di  Carignano  accompanied  the  trav- 
eller as  far  as  Avigliano,  where  she  passed  the  first 
night  of  her  journey. 

The  leave-taking  with  her  mother  and  grand- 
mother on  the  morrow  was  naturally  a  very  trying 
moment  for  Adelaide,  and,  despite  all  her  heroic 
resolutions,  she  was  unable  to  restrain  her  tears. 
But,  since  Tesse,  who  was  remaining  at  Turin  until 
a  French  Ambassador  had  been  appointed,  told 
her  that  the  future  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  ought 
not  to  cry  at  anything  which  made  her  unhappy, 
she  hastened  to  write  to  him  that  "  though  she 
wept  much,  she  had  remembered  that  he  had 
enjoined  her,  in  case  she  wept,  to  laugh  immedi- 
ately afterwards,  and  to  bear  in  mind  the  position 
she  was  destined  to  occupy."  l 

After  bidding  farewell  to  her  daughter,  the 
Duchess  of  Savoy,  with  Madame  Royale  and  the 
Princess  di  Carignano,  returned  to  Turin,  but  the 
Prince  di  Carignano  accompanied  the  little  traveller 
as  far  as  Susa,  where  he  also  took  his  leave.  The 
cortege  crossed  the  Alps  safely,  and  entered  Savoy, 
where  its  progress  seems  to  have  been  considerably 

1  Tesse  to  the  King,  October  16,  cited  by  the  Marchesa  Vitel- 
leschi.  M.  d'Haussonville,  who  also  cites  this  passage,  seems  to 
be  under  the  impression  that  it  relates  to  the  princess's  parting 
with  her  Piedmontese  attendants  at  the  Pont-de-Beauvoisin  on 
the  17th,  but  the  date  of  the  letter  shows  that  it  must  refer  to 
what  happened  at  Avigliano  nine  days  earlier. 


impeded  by  the  enthusiasm  of  the  inhabitants. 
Every  one  wanted  to  see  this  little  princess,  who 
had  become  a  gage  of  peace  between  the  two 
nations  ;  every  town  wished  to  present  her  with 
an  address  of  welcome.  At  Montmelian,  which 
was  still  occupied  by  the  French,  the  garrison 
received  her  under  arms,  and  the  governor  escorted 
her  for  a  considerable  distance.  On  bidding  her 
farewell,  he  begged  her  to  name  the  password  for 
the  day,  upon  which  she  immediately  replied : 
"  Saint-Louis,"  and  added  :  "  He  will  be  my  saint 

Chambery  was  reached  on  the  evening  of 
October  13,  whence  the  Conte  di  Vernone,  the 
Duke  of  Savoy's  Master  of  the  Ceremonies,  ad- 
dressed the  following  letter  to  Victor  Amadeus  : — 

"  October  13,  1696 
"  Most  Illustrious  and  Most  Excellent  Lord  and 
Most  Beloved  Master, — This  evening,  the  Most 
Serene  Princess  has  arrived  at  Chambery,  in 
excellent  health,  having  met  with  no  other  mishap 
than  the  accidental  entry  of  a  gnat  into  her  left 
eye,  near  Montmelian,  which  has  occasioned  her 
some  annoyance,  but  caused  little  loss  of  time  ;  and, 
although  this  evening  she  still  suffers  some  slight 
inconvenience  in  the  eye,  I  trust  that  by  to-morrow 
she  will  be  altogether  rid  of  it. 

"  The  stay  which  she  will  make  here  to-morrow 
was  absolutely  essential,  on  account  of  the  fatigue 
which  one  is  bound  to  take  into  consideration  in 
the  case  of  one  of  such  tender  years,  in  order  that 
she  may  remain  in  the  same  good  health  as  when 
she  left  Turin,  and  that  she  may  be  conducted 
to  the  Pont-de-Beauvoisin  in  the  best  possible. 
"  Throughout  the  journey  the   demonstrations 


of  joy  and  affection  among  the  people  have  been 
all  that  one  could  possibly  desire,  and  this  town 
has  shown  more  than  on  any  previous  occasion, 
though,  since  the  relation  would  be  too  long  to 
set  down  here,  I  shall  reserve  it  for  an  audience.  On 
Monday,  the  Princess  wil]  sleep  at  Iichelles,  where 
she  will  breakfast  on  Tuesday  morning,  and  in 
the  evening  she  will  reach  the  Pont.  These  two 
easy  stages  are  to  be  undertaken  with  the  inten- 
tion that  the  Princess  shall  arrive  there  in  good 
health,  as  we  have  recognised  that  to  cover  the 
remainder  of  the  way  by  a  long  journey,  as  that  to 
the  Pont  is,  would  not  be  to  her  advantage. 

"  I  beg  Your  Excellency  to  honour  me  with  a 
continuance  of  your  powerful  protection,  and  that 
you  will  believe  me  with  respect  and  devotion,  which 
will  endure  so  long  as  I  live, 

"  Your  Excellency's  very  humble,  very  respect- 
ful, and  very  grateful  servant, 

"  CONTE    DI    VERNONE  "  x 

The  ancient  capital  of  Savoy  had  prepared  for 
the  daughter  of  its  sovereign  a  splendid  reception. 
The  municipality  had  raised  for  the  occasion  a 
company  of  twenty-four  cavalry,  dressed  in  scarlet 
greatcoats,  while  the  trappings  of  their  horses  were 
of  the  same  colour,  who,  together  with  a  great 
number  of  the  gentlemen  of  the  neighbourhood, 
met  the  princess  some  distance  from  Chambery, 
and  escorted  her  into  the  town,  which  was  brilliantly 
illuminated.  Moreover,  it  had  provided  all  the 
children  with  plumes  to  wear  in  their  hats,  and  all 
the  servants  with  red  coats  with  a  star  on  the 

At  the  chateau,  where  she  was,  of  course,  lodged, 

1  A.  Gagniere,  Marie  AdSla'ide  de  Savoie:  Lettres  et  Correspondences # 


she  found  the  principal  ladies  of  the  town  awaiting 
her,  whom,  we  are  told,  she  received  with  the 
utmost  graciousness.  On  the  morrow,  she  began 
the  day  by  hearing  Mass  in  the  chapel  and  receiv- 
ing an  address  from  the  clergy,  after  which,  having 
fortified  herself  by  breakfast,  she  spent  some  hours 
in  giving  audience  to  the  various  public  bodies  which 
came  to  felicitate  her.  Vernone  had  announced 
that  only  persons  of  a  certain  rank  were  to  be  per- 
mitted to  kiss  her  Highness' s  hand,  and  this  enabled 
her  to  escape  the  indiscriminate  osculations  which 
she  had  been  compelled  to  endure  at  Turin.  Never- 
theless, it  is  to  be  feared  that  the  benefit  which  the 
little  traveller  was  expected  to  derive  by  breaking 
her  journey  at  Chambery  must  have  been  seriously 
discounted  by  the  intolerable  ennui  of  these  official 

Nor  when  the  last  deputation  had  bowed  itself 
out  of  her  presence,  was  she  permitted  to  rest,  since 
she  was  then  required  to  attend  a  service  at  the 
Church  of  Saint-Francois  ;  next,  to  partake  of  a 
collation  with  the  nuns  of  the  Convent  de  la  Visita- 
tion ;  and,  finally,  to  hold  a  sort  of  "  drawing-room ' 
at  the  chateau. 

When  the  princess  and  her  escort  had  reached 
Chambery  the  previous  evening,  they  had  found 
awaiting  them  there  a  grave  and  important  person- 
age, who  announced  that  he  was  M.  Desgranges, 
the  French  Master  of  the  Ceremonies,  and  that  he 
had  preceded  the  rest  of  his  company  in  order  to 
discuss  with  the  Conte  di  Vernone  the  momentous 
question  of  the  ceremonial  to  be  observed  on  the 
arrival  of  her  Highness  at  the  Pont-de-Beau- 


Doctors,  lawyers,  divines,  and  diplomatists  are 
all  proverbially  fond  of  argument,  but  their  powers 
of  disputation  are  feeble  indeed  compared  with 
those  of  the  officials  to  whom  was  entrusted  the 
duty  of  regulating  the  minute  ceremonial  of  the 
Courts  of  the  seventeenth  century;  and,  on  the 
present  occasion,  both  Vernone  and  Desgranges 
were  compelled  to  admit  that  in  the  other  he 
had  certainly  found  a  foeman  worthy  of  his  steel. 
While  the  Princess  Adelaide  was  engaged  in 
receiving  addresses  and  visiting  churches  and 
convents,  these  two  functionaries  were  closeted 
together  in  strenuous  argument,  every  point  which 
admitted  of  the  smallest  difference  of  opinion  being 
debated  with  as  much  fervour  and  eloquence  as 
though  the  fate  of  Europe  depended  upon  it.  The 
question  most  difficult  of  solution  was  whether  the 
French  escort  should  advance  on  to  Savoyard 
ground  to  receive  the  princess,  or  await  her  on 
French  soil.  Vernone  argued  for  the  former  course, 
citing  the  precedent  of  Victor  Amadeus  himself, 
who,  in  1684,  had  crossed  the  Pont-de-Beauvoisin 
to  welcome  his  wife.  But  to  this  Desgranges  replied 
that  the  Duke's  eagerness  to  behold  his  bride  had  led 
him,  in  his  opinion,  to  commit  a  breach  of  etiquette ; 
but  that,  even  presuming  he  had  not,  the  circum- 
stances of  1684  were  very  different  from  those 
which  they  had  now  to  consider,  since  Anne 
d' Orleans  had  been  already  married  by  procuration, 
while  her  daughter  was  only  betrothed.  Neither 
functionary  would  give  way  an  inch,  and  it  seemed 
as  if  the  princess  would  have  to  remain  at  Cham- 
bery  until  the  question  had  been  referred  to  their 
respective  Courts.     At  length,   however,   they  hit 


upon  a  truly  brilliant  idea,  of  which  each  subse- 
quently claimed  the  credit. 

We  have  mentioned  that  the  western  half  of 
the  Pont-de-Beauvoisin  was  regarded  as  French 
territory,  and  the  eastern  as  Savoyard  ;  and  it  was 
now  arranged  that  the  royal  coach  destined  for  the 
princess  should  be  brought  to  the  middle  of  the 
bridge,  in  such  a  way  that  the  front  wheels  should 
rest  in  France  and  the  hind  wheels  in  Savoy ;  while 
the  two  escorts  should  also  advance  on  to  the  bridge, 
each,  however,  remaining  on  its  own  territory. 
Her  Highness  was  then  to  enter  the  coach,  and 
the  difficulty  would  thus  be  solved  without  being 
decided,  and  the  dignity  of  both  nations  and  the 
reputation  of  the  two  high  priests  of  etiquette  duly 

But  the  questions  which  he  had  discussed  with 
the  Conte  di  Vernone  were  not  the  only  ones  with 
which  M.  Desgranges  was  called  upon  to  deal. 
Louis  xiv  had  not  yet  decided  the  exact  rank 
which  the  Princess  Adelaide  was  to  occupy  in 
France  until  the  celebration  of  her  marriage,  and 
the  problem  now  presented  itself  whether  she 
was  to  be  treated  as  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne, 
that  is  to  say,  as  the  first  lady  in  the  land,  or  merely 
as  a  foreign  princess.  If  as  the  former,  then  the 
Comte  de  Brionne  must  stand  when  she  was  seated ; 
if  as  the  latter,  then,  since  he  was  a  member  of  the 
princely  House  of  Lorraine,  he  had  the  right  to 
sit  down  also.  This  delicate  question  caused  poor 
Desgranges  much  perplexity,  particularly  as  Brionne 
informed  him  that,  unless  the  lady  were  to  receive 
at  once  all  the  honours  which  would  eventually 
be  hers,  he  should  insist  on  asserting  his  claim. 


His  resourcefulness,  however,  again  saved  the  situa- 
tion ;  and  it  was  agreed  that,  whenever  they  had 
anything  to  say  to  one  another,  both  the  princess 
and  the  count  should  carry  on  their  conversation 
standing  up.  Nevertheless,  this  was  by  no  means 
the  only  embarrassment  to  which  the  ambiguous 
position  of  the  princess  threatened  to  give  rise  ;  and 
the  worthy  Desgranges  was  therefore  immensely 
relieved  when  a  courier  arrived  from  Versailles 
with  his  Majesty's  instructions  that  she  was  to  be 
accorded  the  rank  of  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne,  and 
to  receive  all  the  honours  usually  paid  to  a 
Daughter  of  France,  with  the  exception  of  the  title 
of  Royal  Highness. 

All  the  preliminaries  having  been  thus  satis- 
factorily settled,  on  the  morning  of  October  16, 
the  Princess  Adelaide  and  her  escort,  which  had 
been  swollen  to  the  size  of  quite  a  small  army  by 
the  accession  of  nobles  and  gentry  from  all  the 
country  round,  quitted  fichelles,  where  she  had 
passed  the  night,  and  at  three  o'clock  in  the  after- 
noon reached  the  Pont-de-Beauvoisin.  In  the 
exact  centre  of  the  bridge  stood  the  royal  coach 
which  was  to  receive  her,  draped  in  violet,  since  the 
French  Court  was  in  mourning,  with  the  horses' 
heads  turned  in  the  direction  of  France.  Beyond 
it  the  French  escort  was  drawn  up,  while  both 
banks  of  the  little  river  were  thronged  with  spec- 

But  we  will  allow  the  Conte  di  Vernone  to 
describe  the  ceremony  which  followed  : — 

"  Near  the  middle  of  the  bridge  stood  the  Comte 
de  Brionne,   the  Duchesse  du  Lude,   the  Marquis 


Dangeau,  and  all  the  rest  of  the  King's  Household. 
There  the  Princess's  sedan-chair  stopped,  and  I 
said  to  the  Comte  de  Brionne  :  '  Monsieur,  here  is 
the  Marchese  di  Dronero,'  and  to  the  Duchesse  du 
Lude  :  '  Madame,  here  is  the  Principessa  della 
Cisterna.'  The  Marquis  (sic)  Desgranges  said  to 
the  Marchese  di  Dronero  :  '  Monsieur,  here  is  the 
Comte  de  Brionne,'  and  to  the  Principessa  della 
Cisterna  :  '  Madame,  here  is  the  Duchesse  du  Lude.' 
Finally,  the  Marchese  di  Dronero  said  to  the  Comte 
de  Brionne  :  '  Here  is  the  Princess  of  Savoy,'  and 
the  Marchese  di  Dronero  repeated  the  same  phrase 
to  the  Principessa  della  Cisterna  and  to  the  Duchesse 
du  Lude.  And  all  immediately  bowed  and  saluted 
the  Princess,  according  to  the  custom  of  France, 
as  did  also  the  Marquis  d'Anjou  [Dangeau].  Then 
the  Marchese  di  Dronero  showed  the  order  that 
he  carried  to  consign  the  Princess  to  his  care ;  and 
the  Comte  de  Brionne,  to  whom  the  order  to 
receive  the  Princess  had  been  given,  thanked  him 
in  civil  and  courteous  terms."  * 

Brionne  next  made  a  speech  to  the  princess, 
who  had  alighted  from  her  sedan-chair,  expressive 
of  the  pride  and  joy  which  he  felt  at  having  been 
deputed  by  the  King  to  receive  her,  and  presented 
to  her  Dangeau,  the  Duchesse  du  Lude,  and  the 
other  ladies  of  her  suite.  These  presentations 
concluded,  a  French  page  stepped  forward  and 
took  the  train  of  the  princess's  gown  from  the 
hands  of   the   Savoyard   page  who   held   it,   upon 

1  Ceremonial  du  Comte  de  Vernon,  Annie  1696.  Relation  du 
mariage  de  la  Princesse  Marie  Adelaide  de  Savoie  avec  le  Due  de 
Bourgogne,  published  by  Gagniere. 

ioo  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

which  the  latter  began  to  weep  copiously, — a  mark 
of  sensibility  which,  we  are  told,  was  "  regarded 
with  all  the  attention  which  the  heart  of  this 
worthy  gentleman  merited."  Then  Brionne  took 
the  princess's  right  hand  and  Dangeau  her  left, 
and  assisted  her  to  mount  into  the  royal  coach, 
into  which  she  was  followed  by  the  Principessa 
della  Cisterna  and  the  Duchesse  du  Lude  ;  and, 
amid  cries  of  "  Vive  le  Roi  et  la  princesse  de  Savoie  /  " 
from  the  crowd  which  had  gathered  at  the  head 
of  the  bridge,  the  future  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne 
made  her  entry  into  France,  and  was  driven  to  the 
lodging  which  had  been  prepared  for  her. 

On  her  arrival,  all  the  officers  of  the  King's 
Household  who  had  accompanied  the  escort  were 
presented  to  her  in  turn,  "  the  princess  receiving 
them  with  infinite  grace,  and  giving  them  proofs 
of  her  great  benevolence."  In  the  evening,  she 
supped  with  the  Principessa  della  Cisterna  and 
her  sous-gouvernante,  Madame  des  Noyers,  while 
the  Comte  de  Brionne  and  the  Duchesse  du  Lude 
entertained  the  principal  nobles  and  ladies  of  the 
Piedmontese  escort.  Then  the  princess  was  put  to 
bed  by  the  Principessa  della  Cisterna,  who  slept 
in  her  chamber,  "  the  Duchesse  du  Lude  having 
willingly  surrendered  to  her  this  honour." 

The  Duchesse  du  Lude  was  delighted  with  the 
princess,  whose  modesty,  sweet  temper,  and  charm- 
ing manners  conquered  her  heart  at  once.  "  I 
wish,"  she  remarked  to  the  duchess,  "  that  you 
could  have  been  in  some  little  corner,  when  mamma 
has  spoken  to  me  of  you,  to  hear  all  the  kind  things 
that  she  said  to  me  "  ;  and,  when  a  courier  arrived 
from   the   Court  with   a   letter   for   her   Highness, 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  101 

she  immediately  handed  it  to  the  dame  d'honneur 
and  begged  her  to  open  it,  observing  that  she  was 
still  too  young  to  open  her  own  letters.  The  other 
ladies  of  her  Household  seem  to  have  been  equally 
pleased  with  their  little  mistress,  and  Dronero 
wrote  to  Victor  Amadeus  that  he  had  found  the 
princess  conversing  with  them  with  as  much 
self-possession  as  though  she  had  known  them  all 
her  life. 

It  had  been  arranged  that  Adelaide  should 
set  out  for  Fontainebleau  in  the  early  afternoon 
of  the  following  day  (October  17).  Before  the  two 
escorts  parted  company,  however,  Brionne  and 
Desgranges,  on  behalf  of  the  King,  presented 
gifts  of  more  or  less  magnificence,  according  to 
their  several  degrees,  to  all  the  principal  per- 
sonages who  had  accompanied  the  princess  from 
Turin  :  jewels  and  diamond  -  bracelets  to  the 
ladies,  rings  and  miniatures  of  Louis  xiv  set  with 
diamonds  to  the  men.  The  present  received  by 
the  Principessa  della  Cisterna  was  valued  at  31,628 
livres,  that  of  Dronero  at  14,620  livres,  and  that 
of  Vernone  at  8719  livres.  The  humbler  members 
of  her  escort  received  presents  of  money. 

All  were  loud  in  their  praise  of  his  Majesty's 
generosity,  with  the  single  exception  of  an  equerry 
of  the  Duke  of  Savoy  named  Maffei,  who  had 
been  despatched  by  his  master  to  bid  the  princess 
bon  voyage,  and  to  bring  him  an  account  of  her 
reception.  Since  his  arrival  had  not  been  fore- 
seen, there  was  no  suitable  present  for  him ;  and 
though  Brionne  offered  him  a  considerable  sum 
of  money,  he  intimated  that  it  would  be  beneath 
his  dignity  to  accept  it.     At  the  same  time,   he 

102  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

let  it  be  known  that  he  would  be  quite  satisfied 
with  a  sword,  if  one  worthy  of  his  acceptance 
could  be  found  ;  and,  rather  than  allow  him  to 
depart  empty-handed,  Dangeau,  whose  courtesy, 
tact,  and  good-humour  had  made  a  very  favourable 
impression  upon  the  Piedmontese,  immediately 
offered  his  own — a  magnificent  weapon — the  hilt 
and  scabbard  of  which  were  set  with  diamonds. 

The  moment  for  departure  having  arrived,  the 
Piedmontese  attendants  came  to  take  their  leave 
of  the  princess.  The  Duchesse  du  Lude  had 
urged  that  this  ceremony  should  be  curtailed  as 
much  as  possible,  in  order  that  her  little  mistress 
might  not  be  too  much  distressed.  But  Adelaide, 
although  in  a  very  lachrymose  condition,  insisted 
on  receiving  every  one ;  and  when  the  ordeal  was 
over,  turned  to  her  dame  d'honneur  and,  smiling 
through  her  tears,  exclaimed,  "  Now  I  shall  be 
sad  no  more,  since  I  know  that  I  am  going  to  be 
henceforth  the  happiest  person  in  the  world." 

The  princess  and  her  escort  passed  the  night 
of  the  17th  at  Bourgoin,  and  at  four  o'clock  on 
the  following  afternoon  arrived  at  Lyons, — then, 
as  to-day,  the  second  city  in  France, — where 
"  ceremonies  such  as  had  never  been  seen  before 
in  like  circumstances  "  awaited  her.  Some  distance 
from  the  town  she  was  met  "  by  two  thousand 
horsemen,  and  a  great  number  of  ladies  occupying 
a  very  great  number  of  carriages,"  who  escorted 
her  to  the  Porte-de-Rhone,  the  gate  by  which  she 
was  to  make  her  entry.  Here  she  was  welcomed 
by  the  Provost  of  the  Merchants,  who  delivered 
a  long  harangue  in  the  approved  fashion  of  the 
period,  declaring  that  "  Heaven  could  not  reserve 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  103 

for  her  a  more  brilliant  destiny  ;  that  all  France 
tasted  in  anticipation  the  fruits  of  the  union  of 
the  two  noblest  families  in  the  world,"  and  so 

The  princess  having  acknowledged  the  compli- 
ments of  the  Provost,1  the  cortege  proceeded  to  the 
Place  Bellecour,  where  her  Highness  was  to  lodge 
at  the  house  of  a  certain  M.  de  Mascagny,  which 
was  considered  the  finest  in  the  town  ;  the  inter- 
vening streets  being  lined  by  thirty-six  companies 
of  the  citizen  militia  under  arms.  On  alighting 
from  her  coach,  she  was  received  by  the  Marquis 
de  Canaples,  commandant  of  the  garrison,  who 
conducted  her  to  the  apartments  prepared  for  her, 
amid  the  firing  of  cannon  and  muskets,  the  ringing 
of  church  bells,  and  other  manifestations  of  joy. 
Here  she  was  presently  waited  upon  by  two  of 
the  city  officials  in  their  robes  of  office,  who  came 
to  present  her,  in  the  name  of  their  colleagues, 
with  "  a  number  of  boxes  of  sugar-plums  and 
sweetmeats,"  which,  we  may  conjecture,  pleased 
the  little  lady  infinitely  more  than  the  high-flown 
compliments  that  accompanied  the  gift.  At  night 
the  entire  city  was  illuminated,  and,  as  a  further 
concession  to  the  youth  of  its  illustrious  guest, 
the  municipality  thoughtfully  arranged  for  a  display 
of  fireworks  on  the  "  Place,"  opposite  her  windows. 

1  The  Comte  d'Haussonville,  who  follows  the  official  account  pre- 
served in  the  City  Archives,  says  that  the  princess  merely  "  thanked 
the  Provost,  from  her  carriage,  by  an  inclination  of  the  head  and 
body,  and  told  him  that  she  would  acquaint  the  King  with  the 
honour  that  had  been  paid  her."  But  Madame  de  Maintenon 
told  Govone,  the  Envoy  Extraordinary  of  Savoy  at  Versailles, 
that  "  the  princess  had  made  a  better  response  than  the  King 
himself  could  have  done,"  which  seems  to  imply  that  she  made 
something  in  the  nature  of  a  speech. 

104  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

Adelaide  remained  three  days  in  Lyons,1  her 
time  being  chiefly  occupied  in  receiving  deputations, 
and  visiting  churches,  convents,  and  colleges  ;  while, 
on  one  occasion,  she  dined  au  grand  convert,  that  is 
to  say,  in  the  full  gaze  of  the  public,  as  did  Louis  xiv 
at  Versailles.  On  the  21st,  she  departed,  the  citizen 
militia  being  again  placed  under  arms,  and  acclaim- 
ing her  as  she  passed  by  as  "  la  Princesse  de  la 
Paix"  ;  "and  joy,"  writes  the  chronicler  of  these 
events,  "  ceased  in  the  town  of  Lyons."  2 

The  amiability,  modesty,  and  charming  manners 
of  the  little  princess  won  golden  opinions  from  all 
her  escort,  and  the  letters  which  Dangeau  and 
Desgranges  addressed  to  Versailles  were  full  of  her 

1  Soon  after  the  princess's  company  reached  Lyons,  a  courier 
arrived  from  the  Marchese  di  Dronero,  bearing  the  acte  de  deliver- 
ance, or  formal  acknowledgment  of  the  safe  delivery  of  the 
princess's  person  into  his  hands,  which  Brionne  had  handed  him  at 
the  Pont-de-Beauvoisin,  and  a  letter  in  which  he  pointed  out 
that  in  this  document  his  master  the  Duke  of  Savoy  was  referred 
to,  not  as  "  Royal  Highness," — by  which  title  he  had  been  mentioned 
in  all  the  other  acts  relating  to  the  marriage, — but  as  "  Highness  " 
only,  and  stated  that  he  should  refuse  to  accept  it  unless  the 
error  was  rectified.  Vernone  had  remarked  this  omission  at  the  time 
when  the  document  was  handed  to  him  for  his  approval ;  but,  being 
unwilling  to  delay  the  departure  of  the  princess,  he  had  refrained 
from  mentioning  it  to  Dronero,  and  it  was  not  until  the  following 
day  that  the  marquis  had  discovered  it.  The  omission  was,  of 
course,  intentional,  since  Brionne  was,  as  we  have  mentioned,  a 
member  of  the  House  of  Lorraine,  between  which  and  the  House 
of  Savoy  there  was  a  long-standing  quarrel  over  precedence  ;  and 
now,  despite  all  the  persuasions  of  Dangeau  and  Desgranges,  he 
firmly  refused  to  repair  it.  The  difficulty,  however,  was  finally 
overcome  by  a  new  "  receipt  "  being  drawn,  in  which  the  Duke 
of  Savoy  was  not  mentioned  at  all. 

2  "  Relation  des  receptions  qu'a  eues  la  Princesse  Marie- Adelaide 
dans  les  diverses  citis  de  France,  du  Pont-de-Beauvoisin  jusqu'a 
Versailles,  a  Voccasion  de  son  voyage  pour  contracter  son  mariage 
avec  le  due  de  Bourgogne,  et  de  la  manibre  avec  laquelle  elle  jut 
rccue  du  Roi  et  de  la  Cour,"  Mercure  de  France,  November,  1696. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  105 

praises.  "  The  more  we  see  of  her,"  writes  Dangeau 
to  Torcy  from  Lyons,  "  the  more  the  good  opinion 
which  we  have  formed  of  her  increases.  And,  some 
days  later  :  "  She  is  quite  a  child  ;  but,  with  much 
childishness,  she  shows  good-sense  and  intelligence, 
amiability,  and  animation."  Desgranges  is  not  less 
flattering,  though  he  seems  to  have  considered  her 
much  more  advanced  for  her  age  than  did  Dangeau, 
since,  after  paying  tribute  to  her  sweet  temper  and 
other  good  qualities,  he  adds  :  "  On  my  part,  I 
persist  in  asserting  that  she  is  not  a  child  of  eleven 
at  all,  but  a  sensible  woman,  capable  of  being  married 
at  once.  The  serious  little  replies  that  she  makes 
to  the  compliments  paid  her  are  spontaneous,  and 
are  assuredly  not  suggested  to  her."  l 

The  princess  continued  her  journey  northwards, 
relieving  the  tedium  of  the  official  receptions  which 
awaited  her  in  every  town  through  which  she 
passed  by  playing  various  games  with  the  ladies 
and  gentlemen  of  her  escort.  Like  the  great 
Napoleon,  she  seems  to  have  been  particularly  par- 
tial to  blindman's  buff;  and  Dangeau,  who  was  her 
favourite  playmate,  wrote  that  her  Highness  had 
been  greatly  disappointed,  on  reaching  the  little 
town  of  Saint-Pierre,  to  find  that  her  apartment 
was  too  small  to  admit  of  her  indulging  in  this  time- 
honoured  pastime. 

1  Published  by  the  Comte  d'Haussonville.  On  the  other  hand, 
Adelaide's  appearance  would  not  appear  to  have  impressed  her 
suite  very  favourably  at  first,  since  we  find  Madame  de  Maintenon 
writing  to  her  friend  Madame  de  Berval  :  "  We  are  informed  that 
the  Princess  of  Savoy,  although  plain,  is  not  displeasing."  Sub- 
sequently, however,  much  more  reassuring  reports  in  regard  to 
this  must  have  reached  Versailles,  since,  a  few  days  later,  the  same 
lady  tells  Dangeau  that  she  will  "  esteem  it  a  happiness  to  super- 
intend the  education  of  one  so  beautiful  and  so  naturally  good." 

106  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

At  la  Charit6,  where  they  arrived  on  All  Hallows' 
Eve,  and  remained  three  days,  they  learned  that 
Louis  xiv,  whose  original  intention  had  been,  it 
will  be  remembered,  to  receive  the  princess  at 
Fontainebleau,  had  altered  his  plans,  and  decided 
to  come  as  far  as  Montargis  to  meet  her,  and  that 
he  would  be  accompanied  by  almost  the  entire  Court. 
Such  condescension  on  the  part  of  his  Majesty, 
which  was  the  more  remarkable,  since  he  was  in 
indifferent  health  at  the  time,  and  Montargis  did 
not  contain  any  residence  of  sufficient  size  to  accom- 
modate himself  and  his  suite,  proves  that  he  must 
have  been  all  impatience  to  behold  his  future  grand- 
daughter, and  to  judge  for  himself  the  truth  of  the 
reports  which  had  reached  him  concerning  her. 

The  King  left  Fontainebleau  at  a  little  after  noon 
on  November  4,  accompanied  by  the  Dauphin,  the 
Prince  de  Conti,  the  Due  du  Maine,  the  Comte  de 
Toulouse,  and  a  brilliant  suite,  and  reached  Montargis 
at  four  o'clock,  where  the  Presidial  had  been  pre- 
pared for  his  accommodation.  Monsieur  and  his  son, 
the  Due  de  Chartres,  who  were,  of  course,  Adelaide's 
nearest  relatives,  had  preceded  the  Court,  with  the 
intention  of  meeting  the  princess  en  route  and  of 
being  the  first  of  the  Royal  Family  to  embrace  her. 
But  considerations  of  etiquette  appear  to  have 
intervened,  and  they  went  no  farther  than 

At  six  o'clock  in  the  evening,  the  princess,  who 
had  quitted  la  Charite  at  ten  that  morning, 
arrived,  and  proceeded  to  the  Presidial,  where 
Louis  xiv  was  awaiting  her.  But  let  us  allow  the 
correspondent  of  the  Mercure  to  relate  what  followed 
in  his  own  words : 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  107 

"  So  soon  as  the  King,  who  was  on  the  balcony 
of  his  lodging,  caught  sight  of  the  carriage,  his 
Majesty  descended  with  all  the  Princes  to  receive 
her.  On  stepping  out  of  her  coach,  she  wished  to 
fall  on  her  knees,  but  the  King  embraced  her  and 
prevented  her,  saying,  '  Madame,  I  await  you  with 
much  impatience.'  And  the  King  kissed  her  three 
times.  She  took  his  Majesty's  hand  and  kissed  it 
very  tenderly.  That  Prince  presented  Monseigneur 
[the  Dauphin],  whom  she  kissed  twice,  and  Monsieur 
once.  She  inquired  where  her  dear  uncle,  the  Due 
de  Chartres,  was.  The  King  gave  her  his  hand  to 
mount  the  staircase,  which  occupied  some  time, 
since  the  steps  were  occupied  by  an  immense  number 
of  distinguished  persons,  to  whom  they  had  the 
kindness  to  show  her,  by  the  light  of  the  torches 
which  the  ushers  carried.  That  Prince  conducted 
her  to  the  chamber  which  was  prepared  for  her, 
where  he  presented  to  her  all  the  great  nobles  in 
turn,  whom  she  saluted  according  to  their  quality. 
The  Princes  and  the  dukes  and  peers  she  kissed, 
the  King  being  unable  to  refrain  from  remarking  her 
grace  and  intelligence.  And,  as  the  young  Princess, 
in  replying  to  the  questions  which  his  Majesty 
addressed  to  her,  made  use  of  the  word  Sire,  the 
King  told  her  that  henceforward  she  must  call  him 
Monsieur.  Monseigneur  did  not  appear  less  pleased 
than  his  Majesty,  who  asked  her  many  questions, 
to  which  she  replied  very  intelligently  and  clearly. 
During  this  conversation,  the  Princess  twice  took 
his  Majesty's  hand,  which  she  kissed  very  affec- 
tionately. In  short,  she  did  not  appear  in  the 
slightest  degree  embarrassed.  His  Majesty  then 
went   to   his   apartment   until   supper-time,    while 

108  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

she  received  the  compliments  of  the  Presidial,  the 
Mayor,  the  Sheriffs,  and  all  the  public  bodies  of 
the  town."  1 

On  reaching  his  apartment,  Louis  xiv  sat  down 
at  his  desk  to  give  Madame  de  Maintenon  his  first 
impressions  of  the  new  arrival — this  little  rosebud 
of  Savoy,  which  had  come  over  the  mountains  to 
gladden  with  its  beauty  and  its  fragrance  his  dull 
and  ceremonious  life.  And  here  is  his  letter, 
which  is  not  only  an  admirable  pen-picture  of 
Adelaide,  but  is  so  eminently  characteristic  of  the 
writer  that,  lengthy  though  it  is,  it  would  be  impos- 
sible to  omit  it. 

"  Montargis,  4  November,  6.30  p.m. 
"  I  arrived  here  before  five  o'clock;  the  princess  did 
not  arrive  until  six.  I  went  to  the  coach  to  receive 
her  ;  she  allowed  me  to  speak  first,  and  afterwards 
replied  extremely  well,  but  with  a  little  embarrass- 
ment that  would  have  pleased  you.  I  conducted  her 
to  her  room  through  the  crowd,  letting  her  be  seen, 
from  time  to  time,  by  causing  the  torches  to  be 
brought  near  to  her  face.  She  bore  this  progress 
with  grace  and  modesty.  At  length  we  reached 
her  room,  where  there  was  a  crowd  and  heat  enough 
to  kill  us.  I  showed  her  now  and  then  to  those  who 
approached  her,  and  I  studied  her  in  every  way, 
in  order  to  write  you  my  impressions  of  her.  She 
has  the  best  grace  and  the  most  beautiful  figure  that 
I  have  ever  seen  :  dressed  to  paint,  and  coiffee  the 
same  ;  eyes  bright  and  very  beautiful,  the  lashes 
black  and  admirable  ;  complexion  very  harmonious, 
white  and  red,  all  that  one  could  desire  ;    the  most 

1  "  Relation  des  receptions  qu'a  cues  la  Princesse  Marie  Adelaide 
dans  les  divcrses  citis  de  France,  etc."  Mercure  de  France,  November 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  109 

beautiful  hair,  and  a  great  quantity  of  it.  She  is 
thin,  as  befits  her  age  ;  her  mouth  is  rosy,  the  lips 
full,  the  teeth  white,  long,  and  ill-placed  ;  the  hands 
well-shaped,  but  the  colour  of  her  age.  She  speaks 
little,  so  far  as  I  have  seen,  and  shows  no  embarrass- 
ment when  she  is  looked  at,  like  a  person  who  has 
seen  the  world.  She  curtseys  badly,  and  with  rather 
an  Italian  air.  She  has  also  something  of  the 
Italian  in  her  face  ;  but  she  pleases  ;  I  saw  that  in 
the  eyes  of  all  present.  For  my  part,  I  am  very 
satisfied  with  her.1  She  bears  a  strong  resemblance 
to  her  first  portrait,  not  to  the  second.2  To  speak 
to  you,  as  I  always  do,  I  find  her  all  that  could  be 
wished  ;  I  should  be  sorry  if  she  were  more  beautiful. 
"  I  say  it  again  ;  everything  is  pleasing  except 
the  curtsey.  I  will  tell  you  more  after  supper,  for 
then  I  shall  remark  many  things  which  I  have  not 
been  able  to  see  as  yet.  I  forgot  to  tell  you  that  she 
is  short  rather  than  tall  for  her  age." 

At  this  point  in  his  letter  the  King  laid  down 
his  pen  and  returned  to  Adelaide's  apartments, 
where  he  found  the  Dauphin,  Monsieur,  the  Due 
de  Chartres,  Govone,  the  Envoy  Extraordinary 
of  Savoy,  and  Dangeau.  "  I  wish,"  said  he  to 
his  brother,  "  that  her  poor  mother  could  be  here 
for  a  few  moments  to  witness  the  joy  that  we  feel. 
I  would  not  have  her  changed  in  any  way  what- 
ever." He  then  set  the  princess  to  play  with  her 
ladies,  and  admired  her  graceful  movements.3 

1  "  I  took  the  liberty  of  inquiring  of  him,  as  he  was  re-entering 
his  apartment,  if  he  were  satisfied  with  the  princess.  He  answered 
that  he  was,  but  too  much  so,  and  that  he  found  it  difficult  to  contain 
his  joy."     Dangeau,  Journal,  November  4,  1696. 

2  That  is  to  say,  to  the  miniature  which  Tesse  had  sent  from 
Pinerolo,  and  not  to  the  full-length  portrait  which  the  Duchess 
of  Savoy  had  sent  to  Monsieur.     See  p.  69,  supra. 

3  Dangeau,  Journal,  November  4,  1696. 


When  supper  was  announced,  Dangeau,  in  his 
capacity  of  chevalier  d'honneur,  gave  the  princess 
his  hand  to  conduct  her  to  table,  where  she  sat 
between  the  King  and  the  Dauphin.  Her  be- 
haviour during  the  meal  was  perfect ;  and  it  was 
particularly  remarked  that  she  partook  of  no  dish 
without  prettily  thanking  the  officer  who  handed 
it  to  her.  His  Majesty  playfully  inquired  what 
she  thought  of  his  son's  figure  (Monseigneur  had 
a  very  decided  tendency  to  embonpoint),  to  which 
she  gravely  replied  that,  although  he  was  certainly 
stout,  he  did  not  seem  to  her  too  stout,  and  that 
she  had  expected  to  find  him  much  more  so. 

After  supper,  His  Majesty  accompanied  her  to 
her  bedchamber,  telling  her  that  "  he  did  not 
know  whether  she  was  tired  of  him,  but  that,  for 
his  part,  he  could  not  bring  himself  to  leave  her." 
And  he  waited  while  her  women  put  her  to  bed, 
and  then  departed  to  his  cabinet,  in  high  good- 
humour  ;  and,  before  retiring  to  rest,  added  the 
following  postscript  to  his  letter  to  Madame  de 
Maintenon,  which  he  despatched  to  Fontainebleau 
by  one  of  his  equerries  : — 

"  The  more  I  see  of  the  princess  the  more  satis- 
fied I  am.  We  have  had  a  further  conversation, 
in  which  she  said  nothing ;  and  that  is  saying 
all.  Her  figure  is  very  beautiful, — one  might  say 
perfect, — and  her  modesty  will  please  you.  We 
supped,  and  she  failed  in  nothing,  and  showed 
charming  courtesy  to  every  one  ;  but  towards  me 
and  my  son  she  failed  in  nothing,  and  behaves  as 
you  might  have  done.  She  was  closely  watched 
and  observed,  and  every  one  seemed  in  good  faith 
to  be  satisfied.     She  has  a  noble  air  and  polished 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  1 1 1 

and  agreeable  manners.  I  take  pleasure  in  telling 
you  such  good  of  her,  for  I  find  that,  without  either 
prepossession  or  flattery,  I  can  do  so,  and  that 
everything  impels  me  to  do  so."  * 

As  it  had  been  decided  to  start  for  Fontaine- 
bleau  early  on  the  following  day,  the  princess  rose 
at  six  o'clock.  The  King  did  her  the  honour  of 
attending  her  toilette,  and  "  admired  her  hair, 
which  is  the  most  beautiful  in  the  world."  At 
nine,  he  conducted  her  through  the  midst  of  an 
enormous  crowd,  which  the  Mercure  de  France 
estimates  at  more  than  twenty  thousand  persons, 
to  the  church  of  the  college  of  the  Barnabite 
Fathers,2  to  hear  Mass,  during  which  the  "  Princess 
prayed  to  God  with  an  edifying  piety."     Dinner 

1  Sainte-Beuve's  comments  on  this  letter  are  interesting  ■ 
"  Language  excellent,  phrases  neat,  exact  and  perfect,  terms 
appropriate,  good  taste  supreme  in  everything  which  concerns 
what  is  external  and  visible,  in  whatever  belongs  to  regal  repre- 
sentation. As  for  the  moral  basis,  that,  one  must  allow,  is  thin 
and  mediocre,  or  rather  it  is  absent.  .  .  .  There  is  certainly  a 
mention  of  modesty  once  or  twice  in  this  letter  ;  but  it  is  of  the 
modest  demeanour,  of  the  good  effect  which  it  produces,  of  the 
grace  which  depends  on  it.  For  all  the  rest,  it  is  impossible  to  find 
in  these  pages  anything  other  than  a  charming  description,  physical, 
external,  mundane,  without  the  smallest  concern  as  to  the  inward 
and  moral  qualities.  Evidently,  in  this  case,  he  troubles  as  little 
about  these  as  he  is  deeply  concerned  for  externals.  Let  the 
princess  succeed  and  please,  let  her  charm  and  amuse,  let  her 
adorn  the  Court  and  enliven  it,  let  her  then  have  a  good  confessor, 
a  Jesuit  confessor  and  a  reliable  one  ;  and,  for  the  rest,  let  her 
be  and  do  as  she  pleases.  The  King  her  grandfather  asks  nothing 
else  of  her.  That  is  the  impression  which  the  letter  leaves  upon 
me." — Causeries  du  Lundi,  la  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne. 

2  This  college  had  been  founded  by  Monsieur  as  a  thank- 
offering  for  the  victory  he  had  gained  over  William  of  Orange, 
at  Cassel,  in  April  1677.  If  we  are  to  believe  La  Fare,  Louis  xiv 
was  exceedingly  jealous  of  his  brother's  success  in  a  pitched  battle. 
Any  way,  Monsieur  was  never  again  given  the  command  of  an 

ii2  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

was  taken  at  eleven,  after  which  the  Court  set  out 
for  Fontainebleau,  the  princess  riding  in  the  King's 
coach,  with  the  Dauphin,  Monsieur,  and  the  Duchesse 
du  Lude.  The  remaining  place  in  the  coach  was 
reserved  for  the  Due  de  Bourgogne,  who  was  to 
meet  them  on  the  way. 

The  young  prince,  who  had  quitted  Fontaine- 
bleau at  noon  with  his  gouvemeur,  the  Due  de 
Beauvilliers,  met  the  Court  half  a  league  beyond 
Nemours.  Impatient  to  behold  his  future  wife, 
he  alighted  from  his  carriage  while  some  little 
distance  still  separated  it  from  the  royal  coach, 
which  headed  the  procession,  and  advanced  on 
foot.  However,  notwithstanding  his  eagerness,  he 
seemed  very  embarrassed  when  actually  in  the 
presence  of  the  princess,  and,  instead  of  paying 
her  the  pretty  compliment  which  he  had  doubtless 
prepared,  contented  himself  by  twice  kissing  her 
hand,  at  which  the  lady  blushed  becomingly. 

Fontainebleau  was  reached  at  five  o'clock. 
The  King's  coach  entered  the  Cour  du  Cheval 
Blanc,  and  his  Majesty  himself  assisted  the  princess 
to  alight.  The  steps  leading  from  the  court  to 
the  chateau,  the  terraces,  the  windows  of  the 
galleries,  even  the  roofs,  were  thronged  with 
spectators.  The  King,  holding  the  hand  of  the 
princess,  "  who  seemed,"  remarks  Saint-Simon, 
"  to  emerge  from  his  pocket,"  mounted  the  stair- 
case at  the  top  of  which  the  Due  de  Bourgogne's 
younger    brothers,    the    Dues    d'Anjou1    and    de 

1  Philippe,  Due  d'Anjou,  born  December  19,  1683;  became 
King  of  Spain,  as  Philip  v,  on  the  death  of  Carlos  11,  October,  1700 ; 
married,  firstly,  in  1702,  Maria  Luisa  of  Savoy,  younger  daughter 
of  Victor  Amadeus  n ;  secondly,  in  1715,  Elizabeth  Farnese  of 
Parma  ;  died  July  9,  1746. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  1 1 3 

Berry1  were  awaiting  them.  Having  presented  the 
princes  to  their  future  sister-in-law,  he  conducted 
her  to  the  chapel,  where  a  short  service  was  held, 
and  thence  to  her  apartments,  which  were  those 
formerly  occupied  by  his  mother,  Anne  of  Austria. 
Here  the  Princesses  of  the  Blood,  Madame  de 
Maintenon,  and  an  immense  crowd  of  courtiers 
were  waiting  to  be  presented,  and  the  pushing  and 
jostling  were  so  great,  that  people  were  scarcely  able 
to  keep  their  feet,  and  the  Duchesse  de  Nemours 
and  another  lady  collided  violently  with  Madame 
de  Maintenon,  who  was  only  prevented  from  falling 
by  Madame  catching  her  by  the  arm.2 

The  King  remained  for  some  time,  and  himself 
presented  the  Prince  and  Princesses  of  the  Blood. 
Then  he  retired  to  his  cabinet,  leaving  his  brother 
to  take  his  place.  Monsieur  stood  by  his  grand- 
daughter's side,  naming  each  person  who  approached, 
and  telling  her  how  he  or  she  was  to  be  received. 
The  most  had  only  the  privilege  of  saluting  the 
hem  of  her  Highness' s  dress ;  but  when  a  duke, 
a  prince,  or  a  marshal,  or  their  wives,  appeared, 
Monsieur  gave  her  a  little  push,  saying,  "  Kiss," 
and  she  embraced  them. 

This  ceremony  continued  for  more  than  two 
hours,  at  the  end  of  which,  although  there  was 
still  a  number  of  persons  awaiting  their  turn,  the 
poor  girl,  who  had  been  standing  the  whole  time, 
was  so  tired  that  it  was  decided  to  postpone  further 
presentations  until  the  following  day.     Neverthe- 

1  Charles,  Due  de  Berry,  born  August  31,  1686;  married  17 10, 
Marie  Louise  Elisabeth  d'Orleans,  eldest  daughter  of  the  future 
Regent  ;  died  May  4,  17 14. 

2  Correspondance  de  Madame,  Duchesse  d'Orlians  (edit.  Jaegle), 
Letter  of  November  8,  1696. 


114  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

less,  several  ladies  succeeded  in  persuading  the 
Duchesse  du  Lude  to  allow  them  to  remain  and 
present  them  to  her  mistress  while  she  was  being 
prepared  for  bed;  and  seldom  has  the  rest  of  a 
little  princess  been  more  thoroughly  earned  than 
the  one  which  Marie  Adelaide  of  Savoy  enjoyed 
on  her  first  night  in  the  Chateau  of  Fontainebleau. 
But  let  us  leave  the  little  lady  to  her  slumbers, 
while  we  speak  of  the  young  prince  whose 
bride  she  is  to  become,  and  of  certain  other 
actors  on  that  stage  on  which  she  will  presently 
play  so  prominent  a  part. 


The  Due  de  Bourgogne — Frenzied  rejoicings  at  his  birth — His 
parents — The  Dauphin  (Monseigneur)  and  Maria  Anna  of  Bavaria 
— Total  failure  of  the  elaborate  scheme  for  the  education  of  Mon- 
seigneur— His  singular  character — His  appearance — Melancholy 
disposition  and  unhappy  life  of  the  Bavarian  Dauphine — Her 
early  death — Monseigneur  and  Mile,  de  Choin — Childhood  of 
the  Due  de  Bourgogne — The  Due  de  Beauvilliers  appointed  his 
gouverneur,  and  Fenelon  his  tutor.  Early  career  of  Fenelon — 
A  born  teacher — Saint-Simon's  portrait  of  him — Methods  which 
he',  pursues  in  the  education  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne — His 
wonderful  success — Daily  life  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  and  his 
brothers — Their  physical  training — Appearance  of  the  Due  de 
Bourgogne — Aspirations  of  Fenelon. 

LOUIS,  Due  de  Bourgogne,  the  eldest  of  the 
three  sons  of  the  Dauphin,  or  Monseigneur 
as  he  was  called  at  the  Court,  and  Maria 
Anna  of  Bavaria,  was  at  the  time  of  the  Princess 
Adelaide's  arrival  at  Fontainebleau  just  completing 
the  first  quarter  of  his  fifteenth  year,  having  been 
born  at  Versailles  on  August  6,  1682. 

Few  events  of  the  reign  had  been  awaited  with 
such  intense  anxiety,  and  few  had  given  rise  to 
such  frenzied  rejoicings.  From  the  early  morning 
of  August  5,  when  the  pains  of  labour  began,  until 
a  little  after  ten  o'clock  on  the  evening  of  the  follow- 
ing day,  when  the  princess  was  safely  delivered, 
1  one  might  have  said  that  all  the  Court,  all  the 
nobility  of  France,  surrounded  the  apartment  of 
Madame    la    Dauphine."  1    The    King    and    Mon- 

1  Mcrcure  de  France,  August  1682. 



seigneur  passed  the  whole  of  the  night  of  the  5th 
there,  without  undressing ;  while  the  Place  d'Armes 
and  all  the  approaches  to  the  chateau  were  made 
light  as  day  by  a  multitude  of  lanterns  and  torches 
carried  by  persons  awaiting  the  auspicious  event. 

As,  in  the  case  of  the  birth  of  a  son,  Louis  xiv 
desired  to  announce  the  news  himself;  he  had 
arranged  with  Clement,  the  accoucheur  who 
attended  the  princess,  certain  words  by  which 
he  was  to  be  informed  of  the  sex  of  the  child.  If 
the  new  arrival  were  a  girl,  Clement  was  to  reply 
to  his  Majesty's  inquiry:  " Je  ne  sais  pas"  ;  if  a 
boy,  he  was  to  answer:  "  Je  ne  sais  pas  encore" 
So  soon  as  the  physician  pronounced  the  encore, 
the  King  turned  to  the  members  of  the  Royal 
Family  and  the  Princes  and  Princesses  of  the  Blood 
gathered  about  the  bed,  and  cried  in  joyful  tones  : 
"  We  have  a  Due  de  Bourgogne  !  "  and  then, 
hastening  to  the  door  communicating  with  the 
apartment  in  which  the  duchesses  and  dames  du 
palais  were  waiting,  communicated  the  glad 
tidings  to  them  ;  while  the  Duchesse  de  Crequy,  the 
Dauphine's  dame  d'honneur,  informed  the  nobles, 
who  occupied  another  ante-chamber. 

Instantly  all  was  uproar  and  commotion.  The 
joy  bordered  on  delirium.  "  Some  broke  through 
the  crowd  to  spread  the  news  on  every  side ; 
others,  without  knowing  precisely  where  they 
were  or  what  they  did,  were  transported.  There 
were  tears  of  joy  ;  animosities  were  forgotten ; 
people  embraced  those  nearest  them,  without 
distinction  of  rank."  *  The  happy  father  kissed 
all   the   ladies   indiscriminately.     Every   one   took 

1  Mcrcure  de  Frdnce,  August  1682. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  117 

the  liberty  of  embracing  the  King,  and  one  gentle- 
man, in  the  fervour  of  his  enthusiasm,  bit  the 
monarch's  finger.  "  Sire,"  he  exclaimed,  as  Louis 
uttered  an  exclamation  of  pain,  "  I  crave  your 
Majesty's  pardon,  but,  if  I  had  not  bitten  you, 
you  would  have  paid  no  attention  to  me."  From 
the  Dauphine's  apartments  the  enthusiasm  quickly 
spread  to  the  exterior  of  the  chateau.  "  Nothing 
could  equal  the  zeal  and  activity  of  M.  d'Ormoy.1 
He  ran  up  and  down  the  staircases,  shouting 
everywhere  that  it  was  a  prince,  and  he  shouted 
so  much  that  for  some  time  afterwards  he  could 
scarcely  speak."  One  of  the  King's  guards 
dragged  the  straw  mattress  on  which  he  had  been 
sleeping  into  the  first  courtyard  and  set  it  on  fire  ; 
and,  as  though  this  were  a  preconcerted  signal, 
lackeys  and  soldiers  came  running  from  all  direc- 
tions, bearing  tables,  bedding,  benches,  chairs, 
everything,  in  short,  on  which  they  could  lay 
their  hands,  and  soon  the  flames  of  gigantic  bon- 
fires were  mounting  to  the  skies,  while  about 
them  sparsely-clad  figures  capered  and  shouted. 

Bontemps,  the  King's  first  valet  de  chambre, 
fearing  that  such  uproarious  demonstrations  of  joy 
might  be  displeasing  to  his  master,  hastened  to 
inform  him  of  what  was  taking  place.  But  Louis, 
whose  own  satisfaction  at  an  event  which  seemed 
to  assure  his  throne  and  his  race  made  him  forget 
for  a  moment  the  rigid  etiquette  with  which  he 
loved  to  surround  himself,  only  laughed,  and 
answered  good-humouredly  :  "  Let  them  alone,  so 
long  as  they  do  not  burn  us  !  " 

The  little  prince  whose  entry  into  the  world  had 

1  He  was  one  of  the  King's  Gentlemen-in-Ordinary. 


been  hailed  with  such  transports  of  joy  was  far 
from  fortunate  in  his  parents,  save  from  a  purely 
worldly  point  of  view ;  and  it  was  certainly  well  for 
him  that  they  exercised  little  or  no  control  over  his 
upbringing.  Monseigneur  was  a  singular  person- 
age ;  "  the  most  incomprehensible  man  in  the  world," 
according  to  Madame.  Louis  xiv,  who  had  never 
ceased  to  regret  the  defects  in  his  own  education,  had 
early  resolved  that  his  son  should  lack  for  nothing 
in  that  respect,  and  had  planned  for  the  Dauphin 
a  course  of  mental  and  moral  training  which  was 
intended  to  make  him  the  most  accomplished  and 
virtuous  prince  in  Europe.  The  austere  old  Due 
de  Montausier — the  husband  of  the  "  incomparable 
Julie "  of  the  Hotel  de  Rambouillet l — whom 
many  believed  to  have  been  the  original  of  Alceste 
in  the  Misanthrope,  was  appointed  his  gouverneur  ; 
the  great  Bossuet  was  his  tutor  ;  Huet,  Bishop  of 
Avranches,  distinguished  alike  as  a  theologian,  a 
philologist,  and  a  mathematician,  his  sous-precep- 
tenr.  It  was  for  him  that  Bossuet  wrote  his 
celebrated  Discours  sur  VHistoire  universelle ;  that 
Flechier  composed  his  life  of  Theodosius,  and 
Tellemont  his  life  of  Saint-Louis  ;  that  Huet,  in 
collaboration  with  Danet,  Pere  de  la  Rue,  and 
other  savants,  published  that  splendid  edition  of 
the  Latin  classics,  ad  usum  Delphini,  enriched  with 
notes  and  explanations.  Finally,  it  was  to  initiate 
him  into  the  metier  de  Roi  that  his  royal  father 
wrote  those  Memoires  which  have  impressed  the 
world  with  so  profound  a  belief  in  Louis  xiv's 
kingly  qualities,  though  it  is  not  improbable  that 

1  Julie   d'Angennes,   daughter   of   the   celebrated   Madame   de 



A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  119 

the  maxims  and  instructions  which  Mazarin  had 
left  behind  him  for  the  guidance  of  his  young 
sovereign  were  incorporated  therein. 

And  the  result  of  all  these  labours,  of  all  this 
solicitude,  was  that  Monseigneur  became,  not  the 
ripe  scholar,  the  virtuous  prince,  the  accomplished 
gentleman,  whom  Louis  xiv  had  expected  to  see, 
but — the  greatest  wolf-hunter  of  his  time  !  Nor 
is  the  total  failure  of  one  of  the  most  elaborate 
schemes  of  education  ever  devised  for  the  benefit 
of  a  young  prince  difficult  to  understand.  The 
boy  was  dull,  obstinate,  and  idle  ;  his  teachers, 
over-conscientious  and  over-anxious,  and  their 
zeal  defeated  the  end  which  they  desired  to  attain. 
It  was  Montausier  who  was  mainly  responsible 
for  this  lamentable  fiasco.  He  was  a  worthy 
man,  but  harsh,  unsympathetic,  and  intolerant 
of  failure,  and  a  firm  believer  in  Solomon's  precept 
concerning  the  use  of  the  rod.1  His  severity 
inspired  the  unfortunate  Dauphin  with  a  perfect 
horror  of  the  schoolroom,2  and,  since  neither 
Bossuet  nor  Huet  seem  to  have  been  capable  of 
condescending  to  the  level  of  their  pupil's  dull 
and  sluggish  mind,  all  their  pains  and  all  their 
learning    were    absolutely    thrown    away.     "  The 

1  Dubois,  valet  de  chambre  to  the  Dauphin,  relates,  in  his  Journal, 
several  instances  of  Montausier's  severity  to  his  pupil,  of  which 
he  was  an  eye-witness.  One  evening,  in  August  1671,  when  the 
boy  was  ten  years  old,  his  gouverneur  gave  him  "  five  cuts  with  all 
his  might  on  each  of  his  hands,"  for  making  the  same  mistake 
twice  over  in  repeating  his  Oraison  dominicale.  "  The  next  day 
he  showed  me  his  hands,  which  were  quite  purple." 

2  "  Do  you  have  to  write  essays  ?  "  inquired  the  Dauphin  one 
day  of  a  lady  who  had  been  telling  him  of  some  misfortune  which 
had  befallen  her.  "  No,  Monseigneur."  "  Ah  !  then  you  don't 
know  what  sorrow  means,"  rejoined  the  lad. 

120  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

harsh  methods  by  which  he  was  forced  to  study," 
writes  Madame  de  Caylus,  "  gave  him  so  great  a 
dislike  for  books,  that  he  determined  never  to 
open  one  when  he  should  become  his  own  master ; 
and  he  kept  his  resolution."  l 

Monseigneur,  in  fact,  emerged  from  his  teachers' 
hands  a  timid,  taciturn,  awkward  youth,  incorrig- 
ibly indolent,  entirely  without  ambition,  and 
supremely  indifferent  to  everything  which  did  not 
affect  his  personal  comfort.  He  never  read  any- 
thing save  the  Gazette  de  France,  in  which  the  births, 
deaths,  and  marriages  of  persons  of  importance 
were  recorded  ;  he  never  was  known  to  take  the 
faintest  interest  in  affairs  of  State,  save  on  the 
occasion  of  the  meeting  of  the  Council  called  to 
decide  whether  France  should  accept  or  reject  the 
will  of  Carlos  n,  which  left  the  Crown  of  Spain  to 
Monseigneur' s  second  son,  the  Due  d'Anjou,  when 
he  spoke  with  a  warmth  which  astonished  every  one 
present  in  favour  of  the  acceptance  of  the  legacy ; 
and  he  would  spend  whole  afternoons  lolling  in  a 
chair  and  tapping  his  shoes  with  a  cane.2 

"  Nevertheless,"  says  Madame,  "  he  was  far 
from  being  a  fool,  although  he  always  behaved  as 
if  he  were  one,  through  idleness  or  indifference." 
He  was  a  shrewd  observer,  told  stories  agreeably, 
possessed  a  wonderfully  retentive  memory,  and, 
though  Saint-Simon  charges  him  with  being  without 
taste,  he  was  a  good  judge  of  pictures  and  objets 
d 'art,  and  "  one  saw  in  the  cabinets  of  his  apart- 
ments an  exquisite  collection  of  all  that  was  most 
rare  and  precious,  not  only  in  respect  to  the  neces- 

1  Souvenirs. 

2  Duclos,  Memoires  pour  servir  &  Vhistoire  de  Louis  xiv. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  121 

sary  furniture,  tables,  cabinets,  porcelains,  mirrors, 
and  chandeliers,  but  also  paintings  by  the  most 
famous  masters,  bronzes,  vases  of  agate,  jewels, 
and  cameos."  * 

The  chief — one  might  say,  the  only — occupation 
of  his  life  was  hunting.  He  hunted  practically 
every  day,  even  in  the  height  of  summer,  rising 
frequently  at  five  o'clock  in  the  morning,  and  some- 
times not  returning  to  Versailles  until  nearly  mid- 
night. The  wolf  was  his  favourite  quarry,  and  he 
pursued  these  animals  with  such  persistence,  that 
eventually  they  became  exceedingly  scarce  in  that 
part  of  the  country,  much  to  Monseigneur's  annoy- 
ance, but  to  the  great  satisfaction  of  the  peasantry. 
For  the  rest,  Monseigneur  was  "  rather  above  the 
middle  height,  very  fat  without  being  obese,  with 
a  noble  and  distinguished  air,  which  had  nothing 
repellent  about  it,  a  face  that  would  have  been 
pleasing,  if  the  Prince  de  Conti  had  not  accidentally 
broken  his  nose  while  they  were  playing  together 
as  children,  fair  hair,  a  ruddy  complexion,  the  finest 
legs  imaginable,  and  singularly  small  and  delicate 
feet "  ; 2  a  docile  son,  with  an  almost  superstitious 
reverence  for  his  imperious  father  ;  a  punctilious 
observer  of  the  fasts  of  the  Church,  though  any- 
thing but  strict  in  his  observance  of  her  moral 
ordinances ; 3  a  brave  soldier ;  an  indulgent  master, 
and  very  affable  towards  his  inferiors,  particularly 
to  the  lower-class  Parisians,  with  whom  he  enjoyed 
great  popularity. 

1  Felibien,  in  Dussieux,  le  Chateau  de  Versailles. 

2  Saint-Simon,  Memoires. 

3  Apropos  of  this,  the  Princess  Palatine  relates  the  following 
anecdote  :  "  One  day  the  Dauphin  brought  Raisin,  the  actress, 
to  Choisy,  and  hid  her  in  a  mill,  without  giving  her  anything  to 

122  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

It  is  probable  that  the  Dauphin  might  have 
become  a  more  useful,  or  at  any  rate  a  more  agree- 
able, member  of  society,  if  he  had  been  married  to 
a  princess  of  any  strength  of  character.  But  Maria 
Anna  of  Bavaria  was  a  poor  creature,  wholly  un- 
fitted for  the  great  position  to  which  destiny  called 
her.  Not  only  had  she  no  pretensions  to  beauty — 
Madame  de  Caylus  goes  so  far  as  to  declare  that 
she  was  not  only  ugly,  but  repulsive — but  she  was 
shy,  retiring,  melancholy,  and  none  too  sweet- 
tempered.  Notwithstanding  her  unsociable  dis- 
position, Monseigneur  seems  to  have  been  at  first 
attached  to  her,  but  she  made  little  effort  to  retain 
his  affections,  which  were  presently  transferred  to 
one  of  her  filles  d'honneur,  Mile,  de  la  Force. 

When  the  death  of  the  Queen  had  made  the 
Dauphine,  from  the  hierarchical  point  of  view,  the 
first  lady  of  the  Court,  Louis  xiv  used  every  effort  to 
draw  her  out,  and  persuade  her  to  undertake  the 
duties  which  her  position  demanded.  But  the 
princess  thought,  like  Massillon,  that  "  grandeur  is 
a  weight  which  wearies,"  and,  after  a  while,  the  King 
gave  up  the  attempt  in  despair,  and  he  and  all  the 
Court  left  her  to  her  own  devices.  Thenceforth  she 
passed  the  most  of  her  time  with  her  confidante 
Bezzola  and  a  few  friends  in  the  petits  cabinets 
behind  her  State  apartments,  which  had  "  neither 
air  nor  view."     Of  her  children  she  appears  to  have 

eat  or  drink  ;  for  it  was  a  fast-day,  and  the  Dauphin  thought  there 
was  no  greater  sin  than  to  eat  meat  on  a  fast-day.  After  the  Court 
had  departed,  he  gave  her  for  supper  some  salad  and  bread  toasted 
in  oil.  Raisin  laughed  at  this  very  much,  and  told  several  persons 
about  it.  When  I  heard  of  it,  I  asked  the  Dauphin  what  he  meant 
by  making  his  mistress  fast  in  this  manner.  '  I  had  a  mind,'  he 
replied,  '  to  commit  one  sin,  not  two.'  " 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  123 

seen  but  little,  and  the  only  occasion  on  which  we 
hear  of  her  intervening  in  the  bringing  up  of  the 
Due  de  Bourgogne  was  in  1687,  when  the  boy  had 
a  severe  attack  of  fever,  and  she  strenuously  opposed 
his  gouvernante' s  desire  to  give  him  quinine,  then 
a  newly-discovered  remedy.  The  last  years  of  her 
life  were  spent  in  isolation  and  a  kind  of  semi-dis- 
grace, due  to  her  fidelity  to  her  brother  Maximilian 
of  Bavaria,  who,  to  Louis  xiv's  intense  indignation, 
had  joined  the  League  of  Augsburg.  The  ravages 
committed  by  the  French  troops  in  Germany  occa- 
sioned her  great  distress,  and  her  health,  which 
had  always  been  delicate,  grew  steadily  worse.  The 
Court  physicians  appear  to  have  regarded  her 
malady  as  nothing  more  serious  than  an  aggravated 
form  of  "  vapours  " — the  king  of  fanciful  com- 
plaints— brought  on  by  the  secluded  life  which  she 
persisted  in  leading;  but  there  can  be  little  doubt 
that  it  was  consumption.  Any  way,  the  poor 
Dauphine  terminated  her  melancholy  existence 
"  willingly  and  with  calmness,"  according  to  the 
expression  of  her  compatriot  the  Duchesse  d' Orleans, 
in  April  1690,  at  the  age  of  twenty-nine. 

The  Dauphin  does  not  appear  to  have  wasted 
much  time  in  mourning  for  his  consort,  and  a  week 
after  the  funeral  Dangeau  records  that "  Monseigneur 
hunted  the  wolf."  Some  years  later — probably 
in  1695 — he  followed  the  example  of  his  father 
and  contracted  a  secret  marriage  d  la  Maintenon 
with  Mile,  de  Choin,  one  of  the  filles  d'honneur  of 
his  half-sister,  the  Princesse  de  Conti.  Saint-Simon 
paints  a  far  from  alluring  portrait  of  this  lady, 
whom  he  describes  as  "  stout,  squat,  swarthy, 
and  snub-nosed  "  ;  but,  if  she  had  no  pretensions 

124  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

to  beauty,  she  possessed  intelligence,  charming 
manners,  and  an  abundance  of  good-humour. 
Moreover,  she  was  singularly  free  from  ambition, 
and  appears  really  to  have  cared  for  the  vacuous 
prince,  who,  on  his  side,  remained  devoted  to  her 
until  the  day  of  his  death. 

Louis  xiv,  who,  in  the  later  years  of  his  life, 
showed  himself  very  severe  in  the  matter  of  morals, 
and  had,  some  time  before,  banished  another 
inamorata  of  the  Dauphin  from  Court,  was  at  first 
highly  displeased  at  his  son's  intimacy  with  Mile, 
de  Choin,  dismissed  the  lady  from  the  service  of  the 
Princesse  de  Conti,  and  ordered  her  to  withdraw 
to  Paris.  When,  however,  he  learned  that  the 
connection  had  been  regularised,  he  relented — 
possibly  regarding  his  son's  morganatic  union  as 
a  compliment  to  himself — offered  to  receive  his 
new  daughter-in-law,  and  even  to  give  her  apart- 
ments at  Versailles.  His  offers  were,  however, 
declined,  Mile,  de  Choin  preferring  to  play  the  same 
role  at  Meudon  as  did  Madame  de  Maintenon  at 
Versailles  ;  while,  when  Monseigneur  was  not  at 
his  country-seat,  she  lived  very  quietly  in  Paris. 

Such  were  the  parents  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne. 
Happily  for  him,  he  bore  little  resemblance  to 
either  of  them.  Nevertheless,  there  were  few  in- 
dications in  his  childhood  of  what  he  was  eventu- 
ally to  become ;  indeed,  his  arrogance,  wilfulness, 
and  ungovernable  temper  drove  his  gouvernante, 
the  Marechale  de  la  Mothe-Houdancourt,  and  the 
other  women  to  whose  care  he  was  at  first  confided, 
almost  to  distraction.  The  earliest  portrait  which 
Saint-Simon  has  drawn  of  the  prince  whom  he 
afterwards  came  to  regard  as  a  prodigy  of  saintli- 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  125 

ness,  altogether  too  virtuous  for  this  wicked  world, 
is  really  a  terrible  one  : — 

"  This  prince  was  born  terrible,  and  in  his  early 
youth  made  people  tremble.  He  would  fall  into 
ungovernable  fits  of  rage,  even  against  inanimate 
objects,  would  break  the  clock  which  summoned 
him  to  some  unwelcome  duty,  or  storm  at  the 
rain  when  it  prevented  him  from  going  out.  He 
was  impetuous  with  frenzy  ;  incapable  of  support- 
ing the  least  resistance ;  obstinate  to  excess ; 
passionately  fond  of  all  kinds  of  pleasure.  He 
had  an  ardent  inclination  for  everything  which  is 
forbidden  the  mind  and  the  body,  and  a  biting 
cruel  wit,  which  spared  no  one  and  never  missed 
its  mark.  His  pride  and  arrogance  were  inde- 
scribable. As  from  the  height  of  the  sky,  he  looked 
down  upon  men,  whoever  they  were,  as  flies  and 
atoms,  and  even  his  brothers  scarcely  seemed  to 
him  connecting-links  between  himself  and  the 
human  race,  although  all  three  had  been  brought 
up  together  in  perfect  equality."  * 

Although  it  is  probable  that  Saint-Simon  has 
exaggerated  the  faults  of  the  child,  in  order  to 
exalt  by  contrast  the  noble  qualities  of  the  young 
man,  there  can  be  little  doubt  that  the  portrait 
is,  in  its  main  lines,  faithful  enough  ;  and  when, 
at  the  age  of  seven,  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  passed 
out  of  the  hands  of  the  women,  who  had  been 
only  too  ready  to  purchase  peace  and  quiet  by 
humouring  the  little  tyrant,  into  those  of  the 
Due  de  Beauvilliers  and  Fenelon,  both  gouverneur 

1  Mimoires. 

126  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

and  tutor  must  have  realised  that  a  task  of  ex- 
ceptional difficulty  confronted  them. 

Happily,  they  were  in  no  way  daunted  by  it, 
for  two  wiser  selections  it  would  have  been 
impossible  to  make.  Beauvilliers,  a  younger  son, 
who  until  the  death  of  his  elder  brother  had 
been  intended  for  an  ecclesiastical  career,  was  an 
excellent  man,  profoundly  religious,  kindly,  patient, 
and  gentle.  Both  he  and  his  wife  were  close 
friends  of  Madame  de  Maintenon,  "  who  dined 
with  them  once  or  twice  evety  week,  with  a  hand- 
bell on  the  table,  so  that  they  might  have  no 
servants  about  them,  and  might  converse  without 
restraint " ; 1  and  it  is  not  improbable  that  to 
this  lady's  influence  the  duke  owed  his  appoint- 
ment. Nevertheless,  it  was  a  nomination  which 
met  with  general  approval,  as  did  that  of  Fenelon  ; 
and  Madame  de  Sevigne  wrote  that  the  King 
had  made  three  men  out  of  one  duke — in  allusion 
to  Beauvillier's  three  offices,  gouverneur,  First 
Gentleman  of  the  Chamber,  and  sinecure  President 
of  the  Council  of  Finance — and  that  Saint-Louis 
himself  could  not  have  chosen  better.  She  added 
that  the  Abbe  de  Fenelon  was  a  man  of  rare  merit 
for  intelligence,  knowledge,  and  piety.2 

Francois  de  Salignac  de  Lamothe  Fenelon — to 
give  the  future  archbishop  his  full  name — entirely 
deserved  the  high  opinion  which  the  writer  had 
formed  of  him,  since  no  divine  of  the  Gallican 
Church  has  left  behind  him  a  more  honoured 
memory  than  the  good  and  gifted  man  who,  at 
the  age  of  thirty-eight,  became  the  preceptor  of 

1  Saint-Simon,  Memoires. 

2  Madame  de  Sevigne  to  Madame  de  Grignan,  August  1689. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  127 

the  Due  de  Bourgogne.  A  member  of  a  noble 
and  ancient,  but  impoverished,  Perigord  family, 
his  feeble  health  and  studious  habits  had  early 
decided  his  parents  that  the  priesthood  was  his 
vocation,  and,  after  a  preliminary  training  in 
classics  at  the  University  of  Cahors,  and  in 
philosophy  at  the  College  du  Plessy,  he  was  sent 
to  the  theological  seminary  of  Saint-Sulpice,  then 
under  the  direction  of  the  Abbe  Tronson,  where 
he  remained  for  ten  years.  Soon  after  his 
ordination — which  appears  to  have  taken  place 
some  time  in  the  year  1675,  though  the  exact 
date  is  uncertain — animated  partly  by  evangelical 
motives,  and  partly,  as  he  tells  us,  by  "  a  wish 
to  inhale  among  those  precious  monuments  and 
ruins  the  very  essence  of  the  antique,"  he  formed 
the  project  of  making  a  missionary  journey  to 
the  Levant,  which,  however,  he  abandoned,  in 
deference  to  the  wishes  of  his  relatives.  For  the 
next  two  or  three  years  his  time  was  mainly 
occupied  with  attendance  at  the  hospitals  and 
other  parochial  duties  in  the  parish  of  Saint- 
Sulpice,  but  in  1678  he  was  appointed  dirccteur 
of  the  Nouvelles  Catholiques,  an  institution 
founded  in  1634  by  Jean  Francois  de  Gondi, 
Archbishop  of  Paris,  "  to  provide  young  girls 
converted  from  Protestantism  with  a  safe  retreat 
from  the  persecutions  of  their  relatives  and  the 
artifices  of  heretics,"  though,  as  a  matter  of  fact, 
most  of  the  inmates  were  Huguenot  children,  who 
had  been  legally  kidnapped,  in  order  to  bring  them 
up  in  the  State  religion. 

Although,    even    at    this    early    period    of    his 
career,    the   sincerity   of   Fenelon's   religious   con- 

128  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

victions  cannot  be  doubted,  there  seems  to  have 
been  a  strong  vein  of  ambition  in  his  character, 
and  he  did  not  disdain  "  to  knock  at  every  door,"  ' 
to  utilise  to  the  full  the  opportunities  which  his 
aristocratic  connections  gave  him  for  making 
powerful  friends,  and  even  to  become  "  one  of  the 
most  outrageous  flatterers  of  Bossuet."  2  Among 
the  great  houses  at  which  he  was  a  frequent 
visitor,  was  that  of  the  Beauvilliers,  and  it  was 
at  the  request  of  the  Duchesse  de  Beauvilliers — 
a  mother  of  many  daughters — that  he  wrote  his 
celebrated  treatise  De  V Education  des  filles,  which, 
originally  intended  only  for  private  circulation, 
attracted  so  much  attention  that  in  1687  it  was 
given  to  the  public. 

The  success  which  had  attended  Fenelon's 
gentle  persuasiveness  with  the  New  Catholics  led 
to  his  appointment  as  head  of  a  mission  which, 
at  the  end  of  the  year  1685,  was  despatched  to 
Saintonge  to  preach  among  the  Protestant 
population  of  that  province  and  complete  the 
work  which  the  dragonnades  had  begun.  This 
mission,  which  lasted  until  the  following  July, 
and  was  renewed  for  a  few  months  in  the  spring 
and  summer  of  1687,  resulted  in  the  bringing 
back  of  many  a  lost  sheep  to  the  Catholic  fold; 
but  though  Fenelon's  methods  of  proselytism 
seem  to  have  been  gentleness  itself  in  comparison 
with  those  in  vogue  in  other  parts  of  France,  "  it 
is  on  the  whole  a  dark  page  in  his  life."  3 

However  that  may  be,  it  undoubtedly  increased 

1  Saint-Simon. 

2  Brunetiere,  Art.  "  Fenelon,"  in  la  Grande  Encyclopkdie 

3  Viscount  St.  Cyres,  Francois  de  Fdnelon  (Methuen,  1901). 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  129 

the  favour  with  which  Fenelon  was  regarded  in 
high  quarters,  and  when,  two  years  later,  Beau- 
villiers  begged  Louis  xiv  to  give  him  for  his 
principal  coadjutor  in  the  training  of  the  Due  de 
Bourgogne  the  young  ecclesiastic  whose  treatise 
on  the  education  of  girls  had  demonstrated  his 
aptitude  for  so  responsible  a  post,  the  King, 
recollecting  the  good  seed  sown  in  Saintonge, 
granted  the  request  without  hesitation. 

He  soon  had  reason  to  felicitate  himself  upon 
his  decision,  for  rarely  has  the  value  of  a  sound 
and  judicious  education  in  eradicating  the  evil 
propensities  of  a  child  been  more  strikingly  de- 
monstrated. What  Montausier  and  Bossuet  had 
so  conspicuously  failed  in  doing  for  the  father, 
Beauvilliers  and  Fenelon  did  for  the  son.  But 
it  is  to  the  preceptor  to  whom  the  credit  of  the 
achievement  mainly  belongs,  since  Beauvilliers, 
though  officially  his  superior,  was  really  his  disciple, 
who  readily  adopted  all  his  suggestions  and  left 
him  an  entirely  free  hand.  Fenelon  was  a  born 
teacher  in  the  highest  sense,  gifted  with  all  the 
qualities  that  make  for  success  in  that  most 
difficult  of  professions,  and  combining  with  these 
gifts  an  extraordinary  personal  charm,  which  left 
a  deep  impression  even  upon  those  who  had  but 
the  slightest  acquaintance  with  him.  Saint-Simon 
tells  us  that  he  "  knew  him  only  by  sight,"  yet 
that  mere  sight  was  enough  to  enable  the  chronicler 
to  grasp  the  wonderful  fascination  of  the  man, 
and  to  furnish  him  with  materials  for  one  of  his 
most  arresting  portraits. 

"  He  was,"  he  writes,  "  a  tall  thin  man,  with 
a  large   nose,   eyes  from  which  fire   and  intellect 

130  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

streamed  like  a  torrent,  and  a  physiognomy  the 
like  of  which  I  have  never  seen  in  any  other  man, 
and  which,  once  seen,  could  never  be  forgotten. 
It  combined  all  things,  and  yet  the  contradictions 
produced  no  want  of  harmony.  It  united  gravity, 
gaiety,  and  courtesy ;  it  equally  expressed  the 
man  of  learning,  the  bishop,  and  the  grand  seigneur. 
But  its  prevailing  characteristic,  as  in  everything 
about  him,  was  elegance,  refinement,  grace,  modesty, 
and,  above  all,  nobility.  It  was  difficult  to  take 
one's  eyes  off  him.  His  manner  was  in  complete 
accord  with  his  appearance  ;  his  perfect  ease  was 
infectious  to  others,  and  his  conversation  was  dis- 
tinguished by  that  grace  and  good  taste  which  are 
only  acquired  by  constant  intercourse  with  the  best 
society  and  the  great  world."  x 

Fenelon  quickly  perceived  that,  though,  thanks 
to  the  foolish  indulgence  of  his  gouvernante  and 
her  assistants,  the  boy's  faults  had  hitherto  alone 
attracted  attention,  there  was  in  him  the  germ 
of  much  that  was  good ;  that  he  was,  like  most 
passionate  children,  capable  of  sincere  affection  ; 
that  his  quickness  and  penetration  were  remark- 
able, and  that  he  was  frank  and  truthful  to  a 
fault.  He  therefore  set  himself  to  gain  the  affection 
and  confidence  of  his  pupil,  and  this  once  secured 
his  task  was  immensely  facilitated.  Recognising 
that,  with  so  sensitive  and  highly  strung  a  lad, 
corporal  punishment  would  be  a  fatal  mistake,  and 
that  even  direct  reprimands  might  provoke  resent- 
ment rather  than  contrition,  he  had  recourse  to 
other  means  of  bringing  home  to  his  pupil  the 
gravity  of  his  faults,  and  awakening  in  him  a  desire 

1  Mgmoires. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  131 

for  amendment.  Thus,  one  day,  after  he  had 
fallen  into  a  violent  passion,  his  attendants  received 
orders  to  remark  how  ill  he  was  looking,  which  so 
alarmed  him  that  he  asked  that  Fagon *  should 
be  sent  for.  Fagon,  who  was,  of  course,  in  the 
secret,  felt  his  patient's  pulse,  looked  at  his  tongue, 
and,  after  pretending  to  reflect  for  a  few  moments, 
inquired  whether  something  had  not  occurred  to 
irritate  the  prince.  His  Royal  Highness  admitted 
that  he  had  been  very  much  irritated  indeed,  and 
demanded  if  that  were  the  cause  of  his  indis- 
position. The  doctor  rejoined  that  it  was  un- 
doubtedly the  case,  and  proceeded  to  enumerate 
all  the  maladies  to  which  excess  of  anger  might 
give  rise,  adding  that  he  had  even  known  instances 
in  which  those  who  had  been  unable  to  control 
their  passion  had  suddenly  fallen  down  dead. 

Frequently  the  preceptor  made  use  of  object- 
lessons  to  illustrate  the  faults  of  the  prince,  setting 
him  to  study  La  Fontaine's  Fables,  and  to  dis- 
cover for  himself  the  moral  which  they  pointed, 
or  to  compose  essays  concerning  historical  per- 
sonages whose  pride,  obstinacy,  or  passions  had 
brought  them  to  ruin.  Sometimes,  in  order  that 
these  object  lessons  might  take  a  form  more 
likely  to  impress  themselves  on  the  mind  of  his 
pupil,  he  did  not  shrink  from  employing  deception. 
One  morning,  a  carpenter  came  to  execute  some 
repairs  in  the  gallery  on  to  which  the  prince's 
apartments  opened.  The  boy  went  out  to  watch 
what  was  going  on,  and  began  to  examine  the 
man's  tools.     Thereupon,  the  carpenter,  who  had 

1  Guy  Crescent  Fagon,  chief  physician  to  Louis  xiv,  and  the 
most  celebrated  doctor  of  his  time. 

132  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

received  his  instructions  from  Fenelon,  pretended 
to  fly  into  a  violent  rage.  "  Off  with  you,  prince  !  " 
he  shouted,  "  when  I  am  in  a  temper,  I  break 
every  bone  in  the  bodies  of  those  who  come  near 
me."  The  prince,  terribly  frightened,  ran  to  his 
tutor  and  told  him  that  the  carpenter  must  be  a 
terribly  wicked  man.  "  What  then,"  replied  Fene- 
lon, "  would  you  call  a  prince  who  beats  his  valet 
de  chambre,  when  the  poor  fellow  is  doing  his  best 
to  serve  him  ?  " 

On  another  occasion,  the  preceptor  contrived 
a  much  more  elaborate  piece  of  deception.  He 
showed  his  pupil  a  letter  which  he  pretended 
he  had  received  from  Bayle,  then  in  exile  in  Hol- 
land, in  which  the  philosopher  spoke  of  a  curious 
medal,  which  had  been  sent  him  by  a  Dutch  anti- 
quary named  Vanden,  who  was  travelling  in 
Italy.  On  one  side,  this  medal  represented  a 
handsome  and  noble-looking  boy,  surrounded  by 
Apollo,  Minerva,  and  other  denizens  of  Olympus. 
On  the  reverse,  the  same  boy  appeared,  but  his 
body  ended  in  the  tail  of  a  monstrous  fish,  and, 
instead  of  the  deities  and  the  Muses,  he  had  for 
companions  serpents,  witches,  owls,  and  satyrs. 
And  the  writer  expressed  his  belief  that  this  medal 
had  been  struck  by  the  orders  of  the  enemies  of 
France,  and  was  intended  to  depreciate  the  good 
qualities  of  a  certain  young  prince,  by  imputing  to 
him  all  kinds  of  vices.1 

When  the  little  duke's  humour  happened  to 
be  more  than  usually  tempestuous,  and  Fenelon 
felt    that    punishment    was    absolutely    necessary, 

1  Comte  d'Haussonville,  la  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  et  V Alliance 
savoyarde  sous  Louis  xiv. 




A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  133 

he  condemned  him  to  a  kind  of  solitary  confine- 
ment. He  was  not  allowed  to  go  out,  and  no  one 
was  permitted  to  visit  him  ;  his  books  and  play- 
things were  taken  away  from  him  ;  he  dined  and 
supped  alone,  and  his  attendants  went  about  with 
sad  and  averted  faces,  replied  to  his  questions 
in  monosyllables,  or  ignored  them  altogether,  and 
treated  him  with  mingled  pity  and  contempt,  as 
though  he  were  not  responsible  for  his  actions. 
A  day  or  two  of  this  treatment  generally  sufficed 
to  bring  about  the  result  desired,  when  the  boy 
would  confess  his  fault  and  ask  pardon  of  those 
whom  he  had  offended. 

Then  it  appears  to  have  been  Fenelon's  practice 
to  request  the  penitent  to  commit  his  promise 
of  amendment  to  writing,  which  was  presumably 
handed  to  the  prince  on  the  next  occasion  that 
he  showed  signs  of  unruliness,  and  must  have 
served  to  check  many  a  passionate  outburst.  One 
of  these  engagements  has  been  published  by  the 
Due  de  Bourgogne's  eighteenth-century  biographer, 
the  Abbe  Proyart,  and  is  thus  conceived  : — 

1  I  promise  Monsieur  l'Abbe  de  Fenelon,  on 
the  word  of  a  prince,  to  do  at  once  what  he  tells 
me,  and  to  obey  him  the  moment  he  gives  me 
any  order  ;  and,  if  I  fail  in  this,  I  will  submit  to 
any  kind  of  punishment  and  disgrace. 

"  Written  at  Versailles,  the  27th  of  November 
1689.  Louis"1 

Kindly,  tactful,  sympathetic,  and  '  more 
patient    than     patience    itself,"  2    yet    concealing 

1  Vie  du  Dauphin,  pdre  de  Louis  XV. 

2  Joubcrt. 

134  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

beneath  all  his  gentleness  an  inflexible  deter- 
mination, Fenelon  gradually  succeeded  in  estab- 
lishing over  the  mind  and  heart  of  his  pupil  the 
most  complete  ascendency,  and  in  bringing  about 
that  reformation  which  his  contemporaries  appeared 
to  have  regarded  as  little  short  of  miraculous. 
"  God,  who  is  the  master  of  hearts,"  writes  Saint- 
Simon,  "  worked  a  miracle  in  this  prince.  From 
the  abyss  he  emerged  affable,  gentle,  kindly, 
tolerant,  modest,  humble,  even  austere,  more  than 
was  compatible  with  the  duties  of  his  position."  * 
Indeed,  in  later  years,  when  Fenelon  was  no  longer 
at  hand  to  guide  and  direct  him,  he  sometimes 
carried  his  religious  scruples  to  lengths  which 
brought  upon  him  the  ridicule  of  the  ungodly, 
and  tried  the  patience  even  of  his  old  tutor  him- 
self, who  wrote  in  1708,  when  the  duke  was  in 
command  of  the  French  troops  in  Flanders,  re- 
proaching him  with  "  a  piety  which  attempts  to 
govern  an  army  like  a  nunnery."  a 

1  Saint-Simon  places  the  date  of  the  "  miracle  "  between  the 
duke's  fifteenth  and  eighteenth  years,  but,  as  a  matter  of  fact, 
it  was  accomplished  several  years  earlier,  probably  about  the 
time  of  his  first  Communion,  which  produced  upon  the  boy's  mind 
a  most  profound  impression.  "  Since  the  first  Communion  of 
the  Due  de  Bourgogne,"  writes  Madame  de  Maintenon,  "  we  have 
observed  the  gradual  disappearance  of  all  the  faults  which,  in 
his  childhood,  inspired  us  with  great  anxiety  for  the  future.  His 
progress  in  virtue  was  remarked  from  year  to  year.  At  first  jeered 
at  by  all  the  Court,  he  has  become  the  admiration  of  the  most 
pronounced  Libertines.  He  continues  to  do  violence  to  himself 
in  order  to  eradicate  entirely  his  faults.  His  piety  has  so  trans- 
formed him  that,  passionate  though  he  is,  he  has  become  even- 
tempered,  sweet,  complaisant.  One  would  say  that  this  is  his  real 
character,  and  that  virtue  has  become  natural  to  him." 

2  Lord  St.  Cyres,  in  his  admirable  and  impartial  study  of 
Fenelon,  blames  him  for  "  a  dangerous  extravagance  in  the  moral 
and  spiritual  education  of  his  pupil"  ;  but  M.  d'Haussonville  is  of 

A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY  135 

And  the  boy's  intellectual  progress  kept  pace 
with  his  moral  development — or  rather,  outstripped 
it  —  since  he  was  remarkably  intelligent  and 
possessed  of  a  real  passion  for  knowledge.  At 
eleven,  he  had  already  read  Virgil,  Homer,  Horace, 
Livy,  and  portions  of  Tacitus,  possessed  a  good 
general  knowledge  of  modern  history,  and  had 
been  so  well  grounded  in  geography,  that  his 
tutor  declared  that  he  knew  that  of  France  as 
well  as  he  knew  the  park  of  Versailles.  Yet,  so 
far  from  Fenelon  making  an  attempt  to  "cram" 
his  charge,  four  hours  a  day  were  all  that  were 
spent  in  the  schoolroom,  and  the  tutor  strictly 
adhered  to  the  principle  which  he  himself  had  laid 
down  in  his  treatise  on  the  education  of  girls  : 
"  The  less  formal  lessons  that  there  are,  the  better. 
An  infinite  amount  of  instruction,  more  useful 
even  than  lessons,  can  be  imparted  in  the  course 
of  pleasant  conversation."  It  was  these  conversa- 
tions, in  which  Fenelon  succeeded  in  stimulating 
the  interest  of  his  pupil  in  a  variety  of  subjects, 
which  constituted  the  most  valuable  part  of  the 
Due  de  Bourgogne's  education. 

The  daily  life  of  the  prince  and  that  of  his 
younger  brothers,  the  Dues  d'Anjou  and  de  Berry, 
when  they,  in  their  turn,  came  under  the  control 
of  Beauvilliers  and  Fenelon,  was  marked  by  a 
simplicity  at  that  time  very  unusual  in  the  case 
of  children  of  their  rank.  They  rose  at  a  quarter 
to  eight,  and,  so  soon  as  they  were  dressed,  went 

opinion  that  this  reproach  ought  to  be  more  justly  addressed  to 
Beauvilliers,  under  whose  influence  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  came 
during  the  two  years  which  separated  Fenelon's  nomination  to 
the  archbishopric  of  Cambrai  from  the  prince's  marriage,  and  who 
"  set  him  the  example  of  an  almost  ascetic  piety." 

136  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

to  hear  Mass.  Then  they  attended  their  father's 
lever,  and  afterwards  that  of  the  King.  At  nine 
o'clock,  they  returned  to  their  apartments,  where 
they  were  free  to  do  what  they  pleased  till  ten, 
when  the  first  lesson  of  the  day  began.  This  lasted 
until  noon,  at  which  hour  they  dined.  After 
dinner,  which  never  occupied  more  than  three- 
quarters  of  an  hour,  they  had  a  dancing-  or  a 
drawing-lesson.  At  two  o'clock,  they  played 
tennis  or  some  other  game  with  their  sous-gouver- 
neur,  Denonville  or  their  gentlemen  until  a 
quarter  to  three.  In  summer,  they  worked  with 
Fenelon  from  three  to  five,  and  walked  or  rode 
from  five  to  seven  ;  but  in  winter  this  order  was 
reversed.  From  seven  until  a  quarter  to  eight, 
when  they  supped,  they  were  permitted  to  amuse 
themselves  by  reading  anything  they  chose,  and 
after  supper  they  played  games  until  bedtime. 
This  was  generally  nine  o'clock,  but,  if  they  had 
behaved  well  during  the  day,  they  were  permitted 
to  stay  up  a  quarter  of  an  hour  later,  as  a  reward ; 
while  if,  on  the  other  hand,  they  had  been  idle  or 
disobedient,  they  were  sent  to  bed  immediately 
after  supper. 

Their  fare  was  very  plain — much  plainer,  in- 
deed, than  that  of  the  children  of  many  a  well-to-do 
citizen  of  Paris.  Breakfast  consisted  of  dry 
bread  and  a  tumbler  of  water,  or  water  mixed 
with  vin  ordinaire,  whichever  they  preferred  ; 
dinner  of  boiled  beef,  stewed  chicken,  or  roast 
pheasant,  with  a  great  deal  of  bread,  the  con- 
sumption of  which  was  considered  of  the  highest 
importance,  and  a  couple  of  glasses  of  light  bur- 
gundy, cider,  or  beer  ;    supper  of  roast  mutton  or 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  137 

veal,  with  a  little  venison  or  chicken,  and  some 
cake  or  oranges  ;  while  for  their  "  collation  " — 
the  seventeenth-century  equivalent  of  the  modern 
afternoon  tea — they  were  given  dry  bread  or 
biscuits  and  a  glass  of  water.  Ragouts  and 
such-like  rich  dishes  were  seldom  seen  upon  their 
table,  and  champagne  and  other  strong  wines  were 
altogether  forbidden.  This  simple  fare  was  no 
doubt  the  prescription  of  the  tutor,  since  he  lays 
down  very  similar  rules  of  diet  in  his  Education  des 
filles.  But  their  outdoor  life  was  regulated  by 
their  gouvemeur,  who  was  a  believer  in  the  value 
of  manly  exercises,  and  it  should  not  be  over- 
looked that,  if  the  credit  for  the  mental  and  moral 
training  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  and  his  brothers 
belonged  mainly  to  Fenelon,  that  of  the  physical 
was  due  to  Beauvilliers,  and  that  the  benefit  which 
their  bodies  derived  from  the  almost  Spartan 
system  which  he  insisted  upon  must  have  materially 
aided  the  preceptor  in  forming  their  minds.  "  As 
for  the  exercises  which  they  are  made  to  practise, 
they  are  of  such  a  kind  that  no  citizen  of  Paris 
would  suffer  his  children  to  take  the  risk  of  a 
similar  training.  They  are  brought  up  as  though 
they  were  one  day  intended  to  become  athletes, 
and  so  persuaded  is  the  Due  de  Beauvilliers  that  a 
delicate  prince  is  good  for  nothing,  particularly  in 
France,  where  they  are  bound  to  command  their 
armies  in  person,  that  all  the  accidents  that  one 
can  foresee  from  this  are  powerless  to  divert  him 
from  his  purpose."  Whether  the  weather  were 
wet  or  fine,  they  walked  or  rode  every  afternoon. 
Neither  in  the  burning  sun  of  July  nor  in  the 
snows   of   January   were   they   ever   permitted   to 

138  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

cover  their  heads.  They  were  made  to  follow  the 
chase  on  foot,  and  to  play  tennis  until  they  were 
bathed  in  perspiration.  Colds,  coughs,  and  such- 
like ailments  were  ignored,  and,  in  case  of  fever, 
bleeding  and  purgatives  were  strictly  forbidden, 
and  quinine  substituted  for  these  fashionable 

Unnecessarily  rigorous  as  such  a  system  may 
appear,  it  seems  to  have  proved  highly  beneficial, 
particularly  in  the  case  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne, 
whom  it  transformed  from  a  frail,  sickly  child, 
always  imagining  that  "  his  soul  was  about  to  take 
her  flight  into  his  pocket  handkerchief,"  and 
"  kingly  neither  in  face  nor  carriage,"  2  if  not  into 
a  robust,  at  least  into  a  well-grown,  pleasant- 
featured,  dignified  youth.  He  was,  according 
to  Saint-Simon — whose  description  is  borne  out 
by  the  portraits  of  the  prince  at  Versailles — rather 
below  the  middle  height,  with  a  long  sallow  face, 
thick  curly  brown  hair,  a  broad  forehead,  fine 
expressive  eyes,  a  long  nose,  a  pointed  chin,  and  a 
very  pleasing  expression.  He  was  slightly  de- 
formed, one  shoulder  having  early  outgrown  the 
other  and  defied  all  the  efforts  of  the  surgeons  to 
set  it  right,  and  this  defect  became  more  marked 
as  he  grew  older  ; 3  but,  on  the  other  hand,  he  could 
show  a  well-turned  leg  and  a  small  and  shapely 

1  Marquis  de  Louville,  Memoire  sur  V Education  des  dues  de 
Bourgogne,  d'Anjou,  et  de  Berry. 

2  Proyart,  cited  by  Viscount  St.  Cyres. 

3  This  was  generally  attributed  to  his  over-anxiety  to  learn 
to  write.  In  order  to  effect  a  cure,  the  surgeons  condemned  him 
to  wear  an  iron  collar  and  cross,  from  which  he  suffered  considerable 
pain,  without  deriving  any  benefit. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  139 

Fenelon  did  not  confine  himself,  as  Bossuet 
had  formerly  done,  to  instructing  the  prince  in  his 
duties  in  general.  He  strove  to  prepare  the  mind 
and  heart  of  his  pupil  for  the  great  responsibilities 
that,  in  the  natural  course  of  events,  he  would 
one  day  be  called  upon  to  bear  as  the  ruler  of 
France,  and  gave  him  lessons  in  politics  as  well 
as  in  morals.  The  books  which  he  wrote  for  the 
duke's  use  :  the  Fables,  the  Dialogues  des  Morts, 
and,  above  all,  Telemaque,1  in  which  he  subse- 
quently admitted  that  he  had  "  set  down  truths 
most  necessary  to  be  known  by  one  who  was  about 
to  reign,  and  described  the  faults  that  cling  most 
closely  to  the  sovereign  power,"  had  a  political 
rather  than  a  moral  end  to  serve.  "  He  regarded 
himself  as  invested  with  the  mission  not  only 
to  educate  the  prince,  but,  through  him  and 
with  him,  to  reform  the  State,  and  the  courtiers 
seemed  to  admit  that  the  success  of  the  Due  de 
Bourgogne's  education  foreshadowed  that  of 
his  fortunate  preceptor's  plans  of  government."  2 
However,  these  high  hopes  were  never  destined  to 
materialise,  since  in  1697  the  Quietist  controversy 
arose  to  ruin  Fenelon' s  credit  at  Court,  and  destroy 
in  a  few  months  the  fruit  of  so  many  years'  patience 
and  perseverance. 

1  Fenelon  also  wrote  for  his  pupil  a  translation  of  the  /Eneid  of 
Virgil  and  a  Vie  de  Charlemagne.  But  the  manuscript  of  the 
former  has  been  lost,  while  that  of  the  latter  was  destroyed  in  the 
burning  of  the  archiepiscopal  palace  at  Cambrai  in  1697. 

2  Bruneticre,  Art.  "Fenelon,"  in  la  Grande  Encyclopedic 


The  Princess  Adelaide  at  Fontainebleau — Madame  de  Main- 
tenon  entrusted  with  the  supervision  of  her  education — Letters 
of  that  lady  to  the  Duchess  of  Savoy — Blindman's  buff — Arrival 
of  the  princess  at  Versailles — Decision  of  the  King  as  to  the 
life  which  she  is  to  lead  until  her  marriage — She  is  visited  by 
James  n  and  Mary  of  Modena — Motives  of  her  conduct  towards 
the  King  and  Madame  de  Maintenon  considered — Relations  between 
Louis  xiv  and  his  legitimated  children — The  Due  du  Maine — 
The  Comte  de  Toulouse  —  The  Dowager-Princesse  de  Conti  — 
Madame  la  Duchesse — The  Duchesse  de  Chartres — The  King  is 
completely  subjugated  by  the  little  princess — His  attentions  to 
her — Dullness  of  the  Court  since  the  conversion  of  Louis  xiv — The 
arrival  of  the  Princess  Adelaide  brings  about  a  reaction — Amuse- 
ments of  the  princess 

THE  Court  remained  at  Fontainebleau  for  three 
days  after  the  arrival  of  the  Princess  Adel- 
aide, that  is  to  say,  until  November  7.  On 
the  5th,  after  hearing  Mass,  her  Highness  received 
at  her  toilette  the  persons  whose  presentations  had 
been  postponed  from  the  previous  evening.  At 
noon,  she  dined  alone  in  her  apartments,  and  then 
went  to  pay  her  first  visit  to  Madame  de  Maintenon, 
in  whose  apartments  she  found  Louis  xiv  awaiting 

It  had  long  since  been  decided  that  the  educa- 
tion of  the  princess  was  to  be  completed  under  the 
care  of  Madame  de  Maintenon,  a  task  for  which 
the  ex-governess's  great  experience  in  the  manage- 
ment of  children  eminently  fitted  her.     "  The  Duke 


A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY  141 

of  Savoy,"  wrote  Louis  xiv  to  Tesse,  some  weeks 
earlier,  "  may  make  his  mind  easy  in  regard  to  the 
care  which  will  be  taken  of  her  [his  daughter's] 
education  when  she  arrives  at  my  Court.  A  skilful 
hand  will  complete  the  fashioning  of  the  intelligence 
of  which  this  princess  has  already  given  proof.  She 
will  receive  the  knowledge  and  instruction  con- 
formable to  the  rank  which  she  is  to  occupy,  and 
the  example  of  the  most  perfect  virtues  will 
strengthen  every  day  the  instructions  which  will  be 
given  her  to  cause  her  to  love  her  duties.  I  have 
reason  to  hope  that  she  will  follow  the  sentiments 
wherewith  she  will  be  inspired,  and  that  she  will 
be  made  to  understand  those  which  she  must  enter- 
tain in  order  to  ensure  the  happiness  of  her  life."  * 

Notwithstanding  the  glowing  account  of  the  per- 
fections of  the  new  arrival  which  she  had  received 
from  the  King,  Madame  de  Maintenon  must  have 
looked  forward  to  the  princess's  visit  with  no  little 
anxiety,  for  she  was  aware  that,  if  her  charge  were 
to  show  herself  in  the  least  inclined  to  resent  her 
supervision,  these  rebellious  tendencies  would  be 
sedulously  fostered  by  her  enemies  at  Court,  and 
her  task  might  become  one  of  exceptional  difficulty. 
She  was,  however,  speedily  reassured  on  that  score, 
as  will  be  gathered  from  the  following  letter  which 
the  lady  wrote  to  the  Duchess  of  Savoy  : — 

"  She  [the  Princess]  has  a  natural  courtesy 
which  does  not  permit  her  to  say  anything  disagree- 
able. When  I  wished  to  resist  the  caresses  which 
she  was  bestowing  upon  me,  because  I  was  too  old, 
she   replied  :     '  Ah  !     point   si   vieille  ! '     She   ap- 

1  Despatch  of  September  9,  1696,  published  by  the  Comte 

142  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

proached  me  when  the  King  quitted  the  room, 
and  did  me  the  honour  to  embrace  me.  Then, 
having  noticed  at  once  that  I  could  not  remain 
standing,  she  made  me  sit  down,  and  seating  her- 
self with  a  caressing  air  almost  on  my  lap,  she  said 
to  me  :  '  Mamma  has  charged  me  to  give  you  a 
thousand  friendly  greetings  from  her,  and  to  ask 
your  friendship  for  myself.  Teach  me  well,  I  beg 
you,  all  that  I  must  do  to  please  the  King.'  These 
are  her  very  words,  Madame  ;  but  the  gay,  sweet, 
and  graceful  manner  which  accompanied  them 
cannot  be  described  in  a  letter."  1 

Later  in  the  afternoon,  the  princess  accompanied 
the  King  and  Madame  de  Maintenon  for  a  drive, 
the  Duchess  du  Lude,  and  the  Comtesse  de  Mailly, 
her  dame  d'atour,  also  occupying  seats  in  the  royal 
coach  ;  while  Monseigneur  and  a  number  of  nobles 
followed  in  their  own  coaches,  each  of  which  was 
drawn  by  a  team  of  six  horses.  The  direction  taken 
was  by  the  side  of  the  canal,  and,  to  amuse  the  little 
lady,  his  Majesty  gave  directions  for  the  cormorants 
which  were  kept  there  to  be  set  to  catch  fish.  On 
her  return  to  the  chateau,  the  princess  paid  visits 
of  ceremony  to  Madame,  the  Dowager-Princesse 
de  Conti,  Madame  la  Duchesse  (the  Duchesse  de 
Bourbon),  and  the  Duchesse  du  Maine,  in  the  order 
of  their  rank,  which  duties  performed,  she  returned 
to  her  own  apartments  and  received  the  Due  de 
Bourgogne  and  his  brothers. 

The  exigencies  of  etiquette  having  thus  been 
complied  with,  on  the  morrow  the  princess  was 
allowed  a  day  of  repose  in  her  own  apartments, 
where  she  had  leisure  to  contemplate  the  splendour 

1  Correspondence  gen&rale  de  Madame  de  Maintenon,  Letter  of 
November  6,  1696. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  143 

of  the  Crown  jewels,  a  portion  of  which  Louis  xiv 
had  sent  her  on  the  evening  of  her  arrival,  with 
directions  that  she  was  to  wear  them  whenever  she 
pleased,1  and  to  enjoy  a  game  of  blind-man's  buff 
with  her  ladies  and  several  distinguished  persons 
who  came  to  pay  her  informal  visits.  "  Every 
one  is  becoming  a  child  again,"  writes  Madame  to 
her  aunt,  the  Electress  Sophia  of  Hanover.  "  The 
day  before  yesterday,  the  Princesse  d'Harcourt  and 
Madame  de  Pontchartrain  played  at  blind-man's 
buff  ;  and  yesterday  it  was  the  turn  of  the  Dauphin, 
the  Prince  and  Princesse  de  Conti,  two  of  mv  ladies, 
and  myself.  What  think  you  of  the  company  ?  "  2 
Every  one,  indeed,  from  the  King  downwards, 
seems  to  have  been  delighted  with  the  intelligence, 
sweet  disposition,  and  high  spirits  of  the  little 
princess,  and  to  have  been  genuinely  anxious  to 
please  and  amuse  her  ;  and,  allowing  for  the  flattery 
inseparable  from  such  communications,  Madame 
de  Maintenon  undoubtedly  expressed  the  general 
opinion  of  the  Court  when  she  wrote  to  the  Duchess 
of  Savoy  : — 

"  She  is  perfect  in  every  respect,  which  is  a  very 
agreeable  surprise  in  a  person  eleven  years  old.  I 
do  not  venture  to  mingle  my  expressions  of  admira- 
tion with  those  which  alone  ought  to  be  counted  ; 
but  I  cannot  refrain  from  telling  you  that,  according 
to  all  appearances,  she  will  be  the  glory  of  her  time." 

1  The  Crown  jewels  at  this  period,  according  to  Dangeau,  were 
valued  at  11,333,000  livres,  "without  reckoning  those  which  have 
been  added  since  M.  de  Pontchartrain  has  had  them  in  his  keeping." 
He  adds  that  at  the  death  of  Louis  xm  their  computed  value  was 
only  700,000  livres. 

2  Correspondance  de  Madame,  Duchesse  d'OrUans  (edit.  Jaegle), 
Letter  of  November  8,  1696. 

i44  A  R0SE  0F  SAVOY 

And  she  adds  : — 

"  Your  Royal  Highnesses  do  me  too  much 
honour  in  expressing  your  approval  of  my  taking 
her  under  my  supervision.  I  believe  that  it  will 
have  to  be  confined  to  preventing  people  from 
spoiling  her,  and  to  praying  to  God  to  bless  this 
amiable  marriage.'" 

>»  i 

On  November  7,  the  Court  quitted  Fontaine- 
bleau  for  Versailles.     The  King  did  not  leave  until 
after  mid-day,  but  the  princess  preceded  him  by  a 
couple  of  hours,  as  Prudhomme,  formerly  barber 
to   Louis   xiv,   who,    on    his   retirement    from   his 
Majesty's  service,  had  gone  to  reside  at  Le  Plessis, 
about  an  hour's  journey  from  Fontainebleau,  had 
begged  the  honour  of  being  allowed  to  entertain 
her  to  dinner,  and  his  request  had  been  granted. 
This  worthy  man  was  a  great  favourite  with  the 
Royal  Family,  and  particularly  with  the  Due  de 
Bourgogne  and  his  brothers,  who  often  accepted 
his  hospitality  when  travelling  between  Versailles 
and  Fontainebleau.     It  is  not  a  little  singular  that 
Louis   xiv,   always   quick   to   resent   the   slightest 
attempt  at  familiarity  on  the  part  of  his  great  nobles, 
should  have  been  generally  easy  and  affable  in  his 
intercourse    with   his    confidential    domestics,    and 
should  have  frequently  given  them  marks  of  con- 
descension which  would  have  been  highly  prized 
by  those  in  infinitely  more  exalted  stations.     But 
the  bitter  lessons  of  the   Fronde   had  disinclined 
him  to  allow  the  nobility  to  decrease  by  a  hair- 
breadth   the    distance    between    them    and    their 

1  Correspondence  gSnSrale  de  Madame  de  Maintenon,  Letter  of 
November  5,  1696. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  145 

sovereign  ;  while,  on  the  other  hand,  he  was  aware 
that  the  condescension  which  rewards  long  and 
faithful  service  by  humbler  persons  stands  in  no 
danger  of  being  misunderstood. 

The  Court  arrived  at  Le  Plessis  soon  after  the 
princess  had  dined,  and  her  carriage  having  taken 
its  place  behind  that  of  the  King,  the  long  pro- 
cession of  coaches  continued  its  journey  to  Ver- 
sailles, which  was  reached  at  five  o'clock  in  the 
afternoon.  His  Majesty  again  gave  the  princess 
his  hand  to  assist  her  to  alight,  and  conducted  her 
to  the  apartments  formerly  occupied  by  the  late 
Queen,  and,  after  her  death,  by  the  Bavarian 
Dauphine,1  which,  Dangeau  tells  us,  had  been 
superbly  furnished,  in  honour  of  their  new  mistress. 

Louis  xiv  had,  as  we  have  mentioned,  decided 
as  to  the  rank  which  the  future  Duchesse  de 
Bourgogne  was  to  occupy  before  her  arrival  at 
the  Pont-de-Beauvoisin,  and,  while  the  Court 
was  still  at  Fontainebleau,  he  had  also  announced 
his  decision  on  the  question  of  how  she  was  to  be 
addressed  and  the  life  she  was  to  lead  during 
the  interval  which  must  elapse  before  her  marriage. 
Since,  until  that  event  took  place,  she  could  not 
well  be  called  "Madame  la  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne," 
or  even  "  Madame  la  Princesse,"  such  being  the 
designation  of  the  Princesse  de  Conde,  the  King 
directed  that  she  was  to  be  called  simply  "  the 
Princess,"  by  which  title  Dangeau  invariably 
refers  to  her  up  to  the  time  when  she  becomes 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne,  not  a  little  to  the  mystifi- 

1  And   after  the   Duchesse   de   Bourgogne,   by   the   Infanta   of 
Spain,  the  fianc&e  of  Louis  xv,  from  1722  to  1725,  when  the  pro- 
jected marriage  was  broken  off  ;  next,  by  Queen  Marie  Leczinska  ; 
and,  finally,  by  Marie  Antoinette. 

146  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

cation  of  students  of  the  period  who  are  unac- 
quainted with  his  Majesty's  decision  on  this  matter. 

The  question  of  the  life  she  was  to  lead 
presented  some  difficulty,  since,  on  the  one  hand, 
a  princess  who  had  already  an  almost  complete 
Household — dame  d'honneur,  dame  d'atour,  and  all 
the  rest  of  it — could  scarcely  be  treated  as  a 
child ;  while,  on  the  other,  she  was  still  too  young 
to  hold  a  little  court  of  her  own,  like  the  married 
princesses.  He  therefore  decided  on  a  middle 
course,  and  directed  that  the  Court  should  pay 
its  respects  to  her  Highness  at  her  toilette  twice 
a  week — on  Tuesdays  and  Fridays — but  that  she 
was  to  dine  and  sup  in  solitary  state,  served  by 
the  Duchesse  du  Lude.  At  the  same  time,  he 
regulated  her  relations  with  the  Due  de  Bourgogne, 
who  was  permitted  to  visit  his  bride-elect  once  a 
week,  while  his  brothers  were  authorised  to  pay 
her  a  monthly  visit. 

Two  days  after  the  Princess  Adelaide's  arrival 
at  Versailles,  the  ex-King  of  England,  James  n, 
and  his  consort,  Mary  of  Modena,  came  from 
Saint-Germain  to  visit  her.  This  visit  was  regarded 
as  one  of  great  importance  by  the  Court,  since  it 
was  the  first  occasion  on  which  the  princess, 
in  accordance  with  the  King's  decision,  claimed 
the  prerogative  to  which  otherwise  she  would  not 
have  been  entitled  until  her  marriage — that  of 
occupying  an  armchair  exactly  similar  to  that 
of  Mary  of  Modena.  The  princesses  and  duchesses 
who  were  present  at  the  interview  sat  on  tabourets, 
according  to  the  custom  of  the  French  Court.1 

1  Despatch    of   Govone,    Envoy   Extraordinary   of   Savoy,    to 
Victor  Amadeus  n,  November  12,  1696,  in  Gagniere. 

A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY  147 

A  week  later,  the  princess  went  to  Saint- 
Germain  to  return  their  Majesties'  visit,  and  again 
occupied  the  coveted  fauteuil. 

The  princess  continued  to  make  progress  in 
the  good  graces  of  the  Court,  and  particularly  in 
those  of  the  King  and  Madame  de  Maintenon. 
Madame  and  Saint-Simon  assert  that,  from  the 
first  moment  of  her  arrival,  she  expressly  laid 
herself  out  to  win  the  hearts  of  these  two  all- 
powerful  persons,  in  obedience  to  the  instructions 
she  had  received  from  her  parents,  who  were 
aware  how  greatly  their  daughter's  future  happi- 
ness depended  on  the  impression  she  succeeded 
in  making  in  that  quarter.  Madame,  in  one  of 
her  letters  to  the  Electress  of  Hanover,  declares 
that  "for  a  child  of  her  years,  she  is  very  supple. 
She  pays  little  attention  to  her  grandfather 
(Monsieur),  and  scarcely  notices  my  son  (the  Due 
de  Chartres)  and  myself.  But,  so  soon  as  she 
perceives  Madame  de  Maintenon,  she  smiles  at 
her,  and  goes  to  meet  her  with  open  arms.  You 
can  understand  from  this  that  she  is  alread}' 
politic."  And,  in  another  letter :  "  It  is  im- 
possible to  be  more  politic  than  the  little  Prin- 
cess. She  no  doubt  owes  this  to  her  father's 
training."  * 

As  Madame,  who  had  been  the  first  ladyjjof 
the  Court  since  the  death  of  the  Dauphin,  six 
years  before,  was  naturally  piqued  at  having  to 
yield  her  place  to  the  new  arrival,  we  might  expect 
her  to  view  the  conduct  of  the  little  princess  with  a 
somewhat  jaundiced  eye  ;  but  Saint-Simon,  whose 

1  Correspondance  de  Madame,  Duchesse  d' Orleans  (edit.  Jaegle). 
Letters  of  November  8  and  November  25,   1696. 

148  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

admiration  for  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  is  well 
known,  is  here  in  accord  with  her. 

"  Never,"  he  writes,  "  had  princess,  arriving 
so  young,  come  so  well  schooled  and  better  capable 
of  profiting  by  the  instructions  which  she  had 
received.  M.  de  Savoie,  who  possessed  a  thorough 
knowledge  of  our  Court,  had  depicted  it  to  her, 
and  had  taught  her  the  only  way  to  make  herself 
happy  there.  A  great  deal  of  natural  intelligence 
seconded  him,  and  other  amiable  qualities  attached 
people's  hearts  to  her,  while  her  position  in  regard 
to  the  King  and  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  attracted 
to  her  the  homage  of  the  ambitious.  From  the 
very  moment  of  her  arrival  she  understood  how 
to  work  to  obtain  this,  nor  did  she  cease  so  long 
as  she  lived  to  continue  a  work  so  useful,  and 
from  which  she  was  continually  gathering  all  the 
fruits." ' 

That  her  parents  and  Madame  Royale  had  been 
at  pains  to  impress  upon  the  little  princess  the 
importance  of  doing  everything  possible  to  gain 
the  favour  of  Louis  xiv  and  Madame  de  Maintenon 
cannot  be  doubted ;  her  letters  prove  it,  and, 
after  her  death,  some  instructions  which  the 
Duchess  of  Savoy  had  given  her  on  this  matter 
were  found  among  her  papers.  But,  at  the  same 
time,  it  would  be  unjust  to  her  to  suppose  that 
her  efforts  to  please  the  King  and  his  wife  were 
mainly  dictated  by  the  politesse  of  which  Madame 
speaks.  For  Adelaide  of  Savoy  was  a  child  of  a 
singularly    sweet    and    lovable    nature,    in    whose 

1  Mimoires. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  149 

heart  kindness  and  affection  awakened  a  ready 
response ;  and  if,  like  a  true  daughter  of  Victor 
Amadeus  11,  she  did  not  fail  to  perceive  in  which 
direction  her  interests  lay,  it  is  certain  that  she 
soon  conceived  both  for  the  King  and  Madame  de 
Maintenon  a  warm  and  lasting  attachment. 

But  let  us  listen  to  the  latter' s  niece,  Madame 
de  Caylus,  a  very  shrewd  observer,  and  one  whose 
criticisms  of  her  contemporaries  certainly  do  not  err 
on  the  side  of  benevolence. 

"  The  public  finds  it  difficult  to  imagine  that 
princes  behave  simply  and  naturally,  because  it 
does  not  see  them  close  enough  to  form  a  correct 
opinion  of  them,  and  because  the  marvellous, 
which  it  is  constantly  looking  for,  is  not  met  with 
in  simple  conduct  and  ordinary  sentiments.  People 
accordingly  preferred  to  believe  that  the  Dauphine 
[the  Princess  Adelaide] *  resembled  her  father, 
and  that  she  was,  from  the  age  of  eleven,  at  which 
she  came  to  France,  as  crafty  and  politic  as  he 
was  himself,  and  affected  for  the  King  and  Madame 
de  Maintenon  an  attachment  which  she  did  not 
entertain.  As  for  myself,  who  had  the  honour 
of  being  admitted  to  her  intimacy,  I  judge  the 
matter  differently,  and  I  have  seen  her  weep  with 
such  sincerity  over  the  great  age  of  these  two 
persons,  whom  she  believed,  with  good  reason, 
must  die  before  her,  that  it  is  impossible  for  me 
to  doubt  her  affection  for  the  King."  2 

Whatever  the  sentiments  which  chiefly  prompted 

1  The    Duchesse    de    Bourgogne    became    Dauphine   after    the 
death  of  Monseigneur,  in  April  171 1. 
*  Souvenirs. 

150  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

the  conduct  of  the  little  princess  in  those   early 
days  at   the   French   Court,   her   conquest   of   the 
King  was  both  speedy  and  complete.     Nor  is  this 
difficult  to  understand.     Egotist  though  Louis  xiv 
was,  he  combined  with    his  egotism  a  keen  sensi- 
bility.      He    was    capable    of    deep    and    sincere 
affection,    as   is   proved    by    his   stubborn    resist- 
ance  to   the   arguments   and   entreaties   of   Anne 
of   Austria   and   Mazarin   in   the   affair   of   Marie 
Mancini,1  and  all  his  life  he  had  craved  for  love. 
In   the   days   of   his   passionate   youth,    even   his 
most  evanescent  attachments  had  been  redeemed 
by  a  touch  of  sentiment.2     He  lavished  titles  and 
riches   upon   his   mistresses,   but   these   gifts   were 
the  reward  of  their  affection — or  what  he  fondly 
imagined  to  be  affection — not  the  price  of  their 
favours.     Never  did  he  use  his  position  as  King 
to  force  his  attentions  upon  any  woman  whom  he 
had  reason   to  believe  was  indifferent  to  him  as 
a  man  ;    never  did  he  condescend  to  such  odious 
bargains  as  his  grandfather  struck  with  Henriette 
d'Entragues    or   his    contemptible    successor    with 
Madame  de  Chateauroux. 

Now  that  old  age  and  penitence  had  come 
upon  him,  it  was  another  kind  of  affection  of 
which  he  felt  the  need  :  that  of  his  own  family. 
But  hitherto  this  need  had  remained  unsatisfied. 

1  For  a  full  account  of  the  romance  of  Louis  xiv  and  Marie 
Mancini,  see  the  author's  "  Five  Fair  Sisters  "  (London,  Hutchinson  ; 
New  York,  Putnams,  1906). 

2  "  The  late  King  (Louis  xiv),"  wrote  Madame,  many  years 
later,  "  was  undoubtedly  very  gallant.  ...  At  the  age  of  twenty, 
all  sorts  and  conditions  of  women  found  favour  in  his  eyes — 
peasant  girls,  gardeners'  daughters,  maid-servants,  waiting-women, 
ladies  of  quality — provided  that  they  were  able  to  make  him 
believe  that  they  loved  him." 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  151 

The  heavy,  commonplace  Dauphin  was  certainly 
not  the  kind  of  person  to  inspire  affection,  and  he 
stood  far  too  much  in  awe  of  his  royal  father  to 
have  any  to  bestow,  though  he  always  displayed 
towards  him  the  most  admirable  docility.  As 
for  his  legitimated  sons  and  daughters — the  Due 
du  Maine,  the  Comte  de  Toulouse,  the  Princesse 
de  Conti,  the  Duchesse  de  Bourbon,  and  the 
Duchesse  de  Chartres — their  origin  and  the  differ- 
ence of  rank  constituted  a  barrier  between  himself 
and  them  which  the  splendid  positions  to  which  he 
had  elevated  them  had  been  powerless  to  remove. 
In  their  relations  a  certain  restraint  was  always 
present,  for  though  the  King  treated  them  as  his 
children,  it  was  impossible  for  them  to  treat  him 
as  their  father. 

Nor,  with  the  exception  of  the  Comte  de  Tou- 
louse, a  quiet,  amiable,  unassuming  youth,  who 
in  after  years  served  with  considerable  distinc- 
tion in  the  Navy,  and  in  August  1704  defeated 
the  Anglo-Dutch  fleet,  under  Admiral  Rooke, 
off  Malaga,  did  they  afford  Louis  much  cause 
for  satisfaction.  The  Due  du  Maine,  a  great 
favourite  with  Madame  de  Maintenon,  who  had 
brought  him  up,  which  perhaps  explains  the 
ferocity  with  which  Saint-Simon  assails  him,  was 
an  intelligent ,  well  -  read,  and  polished  young 
man,  and  particularly  assiduous  in  his  attendance 
on  the  King,  but  ambitious,  intriguing,  and 
wanting  in  personal  courage.  His  pusillanimous 
conduct  in  Flanders  during  the  campaign  of 
1695  had  occasioned  his  father  the  bitterest 
mortification,  and,  if  we  are  to  believe  Saint- 
Simon,   was  the  cause  of    his  Majesty   forgetting, 

152  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

for     almost  the  only   time  in  his  life,  his  dignity 
in  public.1 

Of  his  daughters,  the  Dowager-Princesse  de 
Conti — often  called  la  Grande  Princesse  de  Conti, 
to  distinguish  her  from  Marie  Therese  de  Bourbon, 
the  wife  of  the  present  holder  of  that  title — pos- 
sessed much  of  the  grace  and  charm  of  her  mother, 
Louise  de  la  Valliere  ;  indeed,  in  outward  attrac- 
tions, she  far  surpassed  her,  and  until  an  attack 
of  smallpox,  ten  years  before,  spoiled  the  fresh- 
ness of  her  complexion,  had  passed  for  one  of 
the  most  beautiful  women  of  her  time.  But  she 
was  frivolous,  coquettish,  and  spiteful,  and  had 
lately  fallen  into  sad  disgrace  with  the  King, 
through  the  discovery  of  certain  letters  written 
by  her,  in  which  his  Majesty's  relations  with 
Madame  de  Maintenon  were  turned  into  ridicule. 

1  "  The  King,  so  perfectly  composed,  so  thoroughly  master  of 
his  slightest  movements,  even  upon  the  gravest  occasions,  was 
overcome  by  this  event.  On  rising  from  the  table  at  Marly,  he 
perceived  a  servant,  who,  while  removing  the  dessert,  helped 
himself  to  a  biscuit,  which  he  slipped  into  his  pocket.  In  a  moment 
the  King  forgot  his  dignity,  and,  cane  in  hand,  rushed  at  this 
servant  (who  little  suspected  what  was  in  store  for  him),  struck 
him,  rated  him  soundly,  and  broke  the  cane  upon  his  body.  In 
truth,  it  was  a  very  thin  one,  which  snapped  easily.  However, 
with  the  stump  in  his  hand,  and  still  muttering  abuse  of  this  valet, 
the  King  walked  away,  like  a  man  beside  himself,  and  entered 
Madame  de  Maintenon's  apartment,  where  he  remained  nearly 
an  hour.  Upon  leaving,  he  met  Pere  la  Chaise  [his  confessor]. 
'  Father,'  said  the  King  to  him  in  a  loud  tone,  '  I  have  chastised 
a  knave,  and  broken  my  cane  upon  his  back,  but  I  do  not  think 
I  have  offended  God.'  Every  one  standing  near  trembled  at  this 
public  confession,  and  the  unfortunate  priest  murmured  some- 
thing that  sounded  like  approval,  in  order  to  avoid  irritating  the 
King  further.  The  sensation  that  this  affair  aroused,  and  the 
alarm  it  inspired,  may  be  conceived.  For  some  time  none  could 
divine  the  cause,  although  every  one  readily  perceived  that  the 
apparent  reason  could  not  be  the  real  one." 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  153 

Her  half-brother  the  Dauphin  was  much  attached 
to  her,  and  when  he  was  not  hunting  or  with 
Mile,  de  Choin,  passed  most  of  his  time  in  her 

The  Duchesse  de  Bourbon — or  Madame  la 
Duchesse,  as  the  Court  called  her — the  elder  of 
Louis  xrv's  two  surviving  daughters  by  Madame 
de  Montespan,  was  an  exceedingly  pretty,  accom- 
plished, and  charming  young  woman.  If,  how- 
ever, she  had  inherited  her  mother's  beauty,  intelli- 
gence, and  fascination,  she  had  also  her  full  share 
of  that  too-celebrated  lady's  less  agreeable  qualities, 
being  selfish,  extravagant,  and  deceitful,  while 
her  mordant  wit  made  her  universally  dreaded. 
"Her  wit  shines  in  her  eyes,"  writes  Madame; 
'■  but  there  is  some  malignity  in  them  also.  I 
always  say  that  she  reminds  me  of  a  pretty  cat 
which,  while  you  play  with  it,  lets  you  feel  its 
claws."  Moreover,  she  was  far  from  an  exem- 
plary wife,  and  infinitely  preferred  the  society 
of  the  Prince  de  Conti  to  that  of  her  liege  lord, 
"  though  this  affair  was  conducted  with  such 
admirable  discretion,  that  they  never  gave  any 
one  any  hold  over  them."  * 

Her  younger  sister,  the  Duchesse  de  Chartres, 
wife  of  the  future  Regent,  whose  marriage  with 
her  had  caused  Madame  so  much  indignation,2 
was,  according  to  Saint-Simon,  a  person  of  con- 
siderable intelligence,  "  having  a  natural  eloquence, 
a  justness  of  expression,  and  a  fluency  and  singu- 
larity in    the    choice    of    language,    which    always 

1  Saint-Simon.  The  chronicler  says  that  Madame  la  Duchesse 
was  "  the  siren  of  the  poets  ;  she  had  all  their  charms  and  all 
their  perils." 

2  See  p.  79  supra. 

154  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

astonished  one,  together  with  that  manner  peculiar 
to  Madame  de  Montespan  and  her  sisters,  which 
was  transmitted  to  none  save  those  intimate  with 
her  or  those  whom  she  had  brought  up."  How- 
ever, she  appears  to  have  been  far  too  indolent 
to  employ  her  intelligence  except  in  conversation, 
and  altogether  failed  either  to  gain  the  affection 
of  her  husband — which  is  perhaps  not  surprising, 
if  we  are  to  put  any  faith  in  Madame' s  description 
of  her  as  "  a  disagreeable  person,  who  gets  as  drunk 
as  a  currier  three  or  four  times  a  week  " — or  to 
give  a  suitable  education  to  her  eldest  daughter, 
afterwards  the  notorious  Duchesse  de  Berry,  the 
heroine  of  some  of  the  worst  scandals  of  the 
Regency.  The  pride  of  this  princess  was  "  almost 
satanic,"  and  Duclos  tells  us  that  people  jocosely 
compared  her  to  Minerva,  who,  recognising  no 
mother,  prided  herself  on  being  the  daughter  of 
Jupiter.1  With  all  her  haughtiness,  however,  she 
was  timidity  itself  in  the  presence  of  Louis  xiv 
and  Madame  de  Maintenon.  "  The  King,"  says 
Saint-Simon,  "  could  make  her  swoon  by  a  single 
severe  look,  and  Madame  de  Maintenon  too,  per- 
haps ;  at  all  events,  she  trembled  before  her, 
and  in  public  she  never  replied  to  them  without 
stammering  and  looking  frightened.  I  say  replied, 
since  to  address  the  King  first  was  beyond  her 
strength."  In  appearance,  Madame  de  Chartres 
was  handsome,  though  not  nearly  so  attractive  as 
her  sister  or  the  Princesse  de  Conti,  while  Nature 
had  endowed  her  with  a  figure  that  was  too  ample 
for  grace.  Both  she  and  Madame  la  Duchesse 
detested   their   half-sister,    who   fully   reciprocated 

1  Mimoires  pour  servir  d  I'histoire  de  Louis  xiv. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  155 

their  sentiments  towards  her,  and  their 
constant  bickerings  caused  the  King  so  much 
annoyance,  that  one  day  he  summoned  the  prin- 
cesses before  him  and  warned  them  that,  unless 
they  could  contrive  to  compose  their  differences, 
he  would  banish  all  three  of  them  from  Court. 
When  not  united  by  their  common  aversion  to  the 
Princesse  de  Conti,  the  two  younger  ladies  quar- 
relled with  one  another,  and  we  hear  of  Monsieur 
complaining  to  the  King  that  Madame  la  Duchesse 
persisted  in  addressing  his  daughter-in-law  as 
"  Mignonne,"  which  appellation,  having  regard  to 
the  generous  proportions  of  the  latter,  was  plainly 
intended  to  cast  ridicule  upon  her. 

The  three  princesses  delighted  in  practical 
jokes,  and  were  for  ever  in  some  "  scrape  "  or 
other.  One  night,  at  Trianon,  they  procured  a 
petard  and  exploded  it  beneath  the  window  of 
Monsieur's  bedchamber ;  while  once,  when  the 
Court  was  at  Marly,  the  odour  of  an  exceedingly 
pungent  tobacco  was  wafted  to  the  King's  nostrils 
as  he  was  on  the  point  of  retiring  to  rest,  which, 
on  inquiry  being  made,  was  found  to  proceed  from 
the  apartments  of  Madame  de  Chartres,  where  she 
and  her  sister  were  smoking  pipes  borrowed  from 
the  Swiss  Guards  ! 

Thus,  his  own  children  offered  Louis  xiv  but 
little  of  the  consolation  which  most  fathers  find 
when  old  age  is  creeping  upon  them,  and,  in  spite 
of  his  devotion  to  Madame  de  Maintenon  and  her 
unwearying  efforts  to  amuse  and  divert  him,  there 
were  many  moments  when  he  must  have  yearned 
for  that  more  complete  relaxation  which  the  affec- 
tion and  companionship  of  youth  affords. 

156  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

And  now  there  had  come  into  his  life  a  charming, 
high-spirited,  lovable,  unspoiled  child,  who,  so  far 
from  being  overawed  by  this  great  King,  before  whom 
every  one  else  in  France  trembled,  seemed  to  regard 
him  as  a  species  of  grown-up  playfellow  specially 
created  for  her  benefit ;  who  "  in  private  clasped 
him  round  the  neck  at  all  hours,  jumped  upon  his 
knees,  tormented  him  with  all  kinds  of  playfulness," 
who  was  always  ready  to  be  his  companion  in  his 
daily  walk  or  drive,  to  charm  away  his  ennui  with 
her  artless  prattle,  to  make  him  feel  that  he  was  not 
only  a  monarch,  but  a  man  and  a  grandfather.  It 
was  indeed  a  novel  and  delightful  experience  for 
one  who  never  in  his  whole  life  had  been  on  really 
familiar  terms  with  any  human  being,  not  even 
with  his  mistresses.  "  The  King  was  enchanted 
by  her  ways,"  writes  Sourches,  "  and  showed  for 
her  an  astonishing  affection,  passing  whole  hours 
with  her  in  his  cabinet,  or  in  the  Marquise  de  Main- 
tenon's  apartments." 

Louis  xiv  seemed,  indeed,  as  though  he  could  not 
see  enough  of  the  little  princess,  or  show  her  sufficient 
attention,  and  almost  every  day  Dangeau  notes  in 
his  Journal,  or  Govone  mentions  in  his  despatches 
to  Turin,  some  fresh  instance  of  the  pleasure  his 
Majesty  is  deriving  from  the  society  of  his  pros- 
pective grand-daughter.  Let  us  listen  to  th? 
Italian  : — 

"  She  [the  Princess]  continues  to  enjoy  good 
health,  and  to  possess  the  good  graces  of  the  King, 
who  visits  her  regularly  twice  a  day,  not  ceremoni- 
ously, but  from  affection,  since  his  attention  is 
continuously  occupied  in  procuring  her  amusements 
suitable  to  her  age,  but  which  exceed  all  that  she 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  157 

can  dream  about.  Yesterday  the  King  took  her 
to  visit  all  the  gardens  and  fountains,  to  which  I 
had  the  honour  of  following  them ;  and  I  observed 
with  surprise  and  emotion  the  kindness  of  his 
Majesty,  who  was  pleased  to  permit  the  young 
Princess  to  walk  by  his  side  on  foot,  and  when  he 
perceived  that  she  was  tired,  to  make  her  enter  a 
sedan-chair  with  him,  while  he  explained  every- 
thing to  her,  and  made  his  observations  in  the 
affectionate  tone  of  a  very  loving  father.  This 
spectacle  was  for  me,  a  simple  spectator,  a  true 
gourmet's  banquet." 

And  a  week  later : — 

"  The  Princess  understands  how  to  attach  the 
hearts  of  his  Majesty,  Monseigneur,  and  Madame 
de  Maintenon  more  and  more  closely  to  her.  .  .  . 
His  Majesty  continues  to  relate  to  me  with  tender- 
ness the  questions  and  answers  which  are  exchanged 
between  himself  and  the  Princess,  and  to  say  how 
rejoiced  he  is  at  finding  such  childish  ways  joined 
to  a  fund  of  good  sense." 

And  in  a  third  despatch  he  writes : — 

"  The  Princess  continues  to  give  further  and 
stronger  proofs  of  good  sense  and  good  conduct, 
in  demonstrating  the  lively  affection  which  she 
feels  for  his  Majesty.  Moreover,  the  affection 
which  the  King  entertains  for  her  grows  stronger 
every  day.  Madame  de  Maintenon  does  not  cease 
to  tell  me  of  the  satisfaction  of  his  Majesty,  of 
herself,  and  of  the  whole  Court."  l 

Here,  too,  are  some  extracts  from  the  diary  of 
the  omniscient  Dangeau  : — 

1  Govone  to  the  Duke  of  Savoy,  despatches  of  November  12, 
November  19,  and  December  3,  1696. 

158  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

"  November  12. — On  leaving  the  Council,  the  King 
sent  for  the  Princess  ;  he  has  given  her  masters  to 
teach  her  dancing  and  to  play  the  harpsichord. 

"  November  13. — The  King  went  to  dine  at 
Marly,  and  took  thither  the  Princess,  with  Madame 
de  Maintenon,  Madame  de  Chevreuse,  and  all  the 
Princess's  ladies. 

"  November  15. — The  Princess  came  here  [Meu- 
don]  to  dine  with  the  King,  and  brought  all 
her  ladies.  After  dinner,  the  King  took  her  into 
the  gardens,  but  their  walk  did  not  last  long,  as  the 
weather  was  very  bad.  The  King  told  the  Princess 
that  all  the  Princesses  possessed  menageries  around 
Versailles,  and  that  he  wished  to  give  her  a  much 
finer  one  than  the  others,  and  accordingly  proposed 
to  give  her  the  real  menagerie,  which  is  the  Mena- 
gerie of  Versailles.1 

"  November  17. — The  King  returned  early  from 
Meudon,  and  on  his  arrival  went  to  see  the  Princess. 

1  The  Menagerie  was  situated  at  the  extremity  of  the  southern 
arm  of  the  grand  canal.  All  kinds  of  wild  animals  and  birds  were 
kept  there  :  bears,  wolves,  pelicans,  ostriches,  gazelles,  herons, 
foxes,  lions,  and  even  an  elephant.  The  aviary  was  the  finest  in 
France,  and  there  was  also  an  immense  pigeon-house,  containing 
three  thousand  pigeons,  a  poultry-yard,  and  a  farm  for  cows  and 
horses.  The  little  chateau  of  the  Menagerie,  originally  a  hunting- 
pavilion,  contained  a  handsome  octagonal  salon,  surmounted 
by  a  dome,  and  lighted  by  seven  windows,  in  which  Louis  xiv 
often  dined  when  he  visited  the  Menagerie,  and  a  number  of  smaller 
rooms,  all  very  tastefully  decorated  and  furnished.  There  were, 
however,  no  bedchambers,  since  the  chateau  was  intended  merely 
as  a  house  in  which  to  give  dinner-  or  supper-parties,  and  not  as  a 
residence.  The  Menagerie  soon  became  a  favourite  resort  of  the 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne,  who  came  frequently  with  her  ladies  to 
partake  of  a  "  collation  "  and  spend  a  few  hours  there,  and  after 
1698,  when  the  improvements  which  the  King  had  caused  to  be 
carried  out  at  the  chateau  for  her  benefit,  had  been  completed, 
she  sometimes  entertained  his  Majesty  and  other  members  of  the 
Royal  Family. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  159 


November  18. — The  King  went  out  shooting  and 
returned  early.  When  he  had  entered  Madame 
de  Maintenon's  apartment  he  sent  for  the  Princess, 
and  gave  her  the  rest  of  the  Crown  jewels,  of  which 
some  had  already  been  taken  to  her  during  her 
stay  at  Fontainebleau. 

"  November  21. — The  King  drove  after  dinner 
to  Marly.  He  returned  at  six  o'clock,  and  sent 
immediately  for  the  Princess  to  come  to  him  in 
Madame   de   Maintenon's  apartments. 

"  November  24. — The  King  went  to  the  chase, 
but  the  bad  weather  caused  him  to  return  at  three 
o'clock.  After  his  unbooting,1  he  went  to  the 
Princess's  apartments,  where  he  remained  a  long 

Since  the  King's  conversion,  the  Court,  once  the 
centre  of  gaiety  and  pleasure,  had  become  decidedly 
dull,  and  but  for  the  fact  that  his  Majesty  regarded 
it  as  a  sacred  duty  on  the  part  of  his  nobility  to  sun 
themselves  in  his  presence,  many  of  them  would 
have  certainly  preferred  the  cheerful  and  unre- 
strained life  of  Paris,  or  even  the  seclusion  of  their 
country-houses,  to  the  dreary  round  of  aimless 
pomps  and  ceremonies,  varied  by  attendance  at 
the  services  of  the  Church,  in  which  they  were 
compelled  to  pass  their  time.  Writing  in  1687, 
Madame  declares  that  "  the  Court  was  growing 
so  dull  that  people  were  getting  to  loathe  it,  for  the 
King  imagined  that  he  was  pious  if  he  made  life 
a    bore    to    other    people."     Moreover,    since    de- 

1  The  unbooting  (dSbotte)  of  the  King  after  hunting  was,  like 
everything  else  in  his  daily  life,  a  more  or  less  solemn  function. 
It  was  always  performed  by  the  First  Gentleman  of  the  Chamber 
on  duty  at  the  time. 

1 60  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

votion — or  at  least  a  skilful  affectation  of  it — was 
judged  to  be  the  most  potent  of  all  passports  to 
the  royal  favour,  the  amount  of  hypocrisy  which 
prevailed    was    simply    appalling ;     "an    ordinary 
Sunday  had  become  like  an  Easter  Sunday,"  and 
people  nocked  to  services  as  they  had  done  to  the 
masquerades  and  ballets  of  the  pre-devotional  days. 
But  now  it  seemed  as  though  the  advent  of 
this  little  girl  was  to  bring  about  a  reaction,  if  not 
to  the  gaiety  of  the  early  part  of  the  reign,  at  least 
to   something   resembling   that  joyous   time.     For 
the  King  was  sincerely  desirous  of  finding  amuse- 
ment for  the  child  who  had  so  speedily  captured 
his  heart,  and  "  sought  every  day  something  new 
to  divert  her."     The  visits  to  Marly  and  Meudon 
multiplied  ;    there  were  hunting-parties  at  which 
the  princess  followed   the   chase  in  his   Majesty's 
"  soufflet "  ; l   and  when  the   spring  came,  picnics 
in  the  forest   of    Marly,    an    invitation  to  which 
soon  came  to  be  regarded  as  a  great  honour,  and 
excursions   in   gondolas   or   barges   on   the   grand 
canal  of  Versailles,2  which  in  warm  weather  were 
often    prolonged    until    the    small    hours    of    the 
morning.     Sometimes  the  King  took  the  princess 
to  the  riding-school  of  the  Grande  licurie  to  watch 
the   pages  exercising  their  horses  ;    at  others  he 
set   her    to    fish   for   carp.       Nor   did   he    neglect 

1  A  light  carriage,  built  to  hold  two  persons,  and  drawn  by 
four  swift  ponies.  In  his  later  years,  Louis  xiv  usually  preferred 
to  follow  the  chase  in  his  soufflet  to  the  fatigue  which  a  long  day 
on  horseback  entailed. 

a  In  1678,  the  Republic  of  Venice  had  presented  Louis  xiv 
with  a  magnificent  gilded  gondola,  and  his  Majesty  was  so  pleased 
with  it  that  he  bought  several  others,  and  also  engaged  the  services 
of  a  number  of  Venetian  gondoliers,  who  were  lodged  at  the  head 
of  the  canal,  in  the  buildings  which  are  still  called  "  Little  Venice." 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  161 

amusements  more  suitable  to  her  age.  He  sent 
for  a  conjurer  from  Paris — probably  the  same 
artiste  who  had  given  a  seance  for  the  benefit  of 
the  Due  de  Bourgogne  two  or  three  years  before, 
and  had  greatly  diverted  not  only  the  little 
prince,  but  his  Majesty  himself,  "  who  had  never 
been  known  to  laugh  so  heartily," — ordered  a 
performance  of  marionettes,  and  organised  little 
lotteries.  On  the  other  hand,  the  King  refused 
to  allow  the  princess  to  attend  the  Opera  or  the 
theatre,  to  be  present  at  a  ball,  or  to  join  in  any 
game  of  cards,  until  she  was  married,  and  even 
gave  orders  that  these  forbidden  pleasures  were 
not  to  be  so  much  as  mentioned  before  her,  lest 
she  should  be  seized  with  a  desire  to  participate 
in  them.  Such  restrictions  seem  to  have  been 
regarded  with  disapproval  by  many  persons,  and 
Madame  declared  that  "  she  pitied  the  poor  child," 
but,  having  regard  to  the  "  poor  child's  "  tender 
years,  there  can  be  no  doubt  that  Madame  de 
Maintenon,  upon  whose  advice  they  were,  of 
course,  imposed,  acted  judiciously. 



Madame  de  Maintenon — Widely  divergent  views  in  regard 
to  her  character — The  probable  truth — Extent  of  her  influence 
considered — Her  "  life  of  slavery  " — Her  affection  for  children — 
She  succumbs  to  the  charms  of  the  Princess  Adelaide — Education 
of  the  princess — Madame  de  Maintenon  and  Saint-Cyr — First 
visit  of  the  princess  to  that  institution — She  becomes  a  frequent 
visitor,  and  shares  in  the  studies  and  recreations  of  the  pupils — 
Anecdotes  of  her  life  there — She  takes  part  in  a  representation  of 
Racine's  Esther — Madame  Maintenon's  views  on  marriage — Her 
advice  to  the  princess  in  reference  to  her  future  husband 

SINCE  Madame  de  Maintenon  is  destined  to 
play  a  by  no  means  unimportant  part  in 
the  life  of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne, 
it  may  be  as  well  for  us  to  say  something  con- 
cerning her  here  ;  not  in  regard  to  her  career, 
since  her  romantic  story  is  sufficiently  well  known, 
but  as  to  her  character  and  influence. 

During  the  last  half-century,  the  popular 
conception  of  Madame  de  Maintenon,  until  then 
largely  derived  from  the  highly-coloured  pages  of 
Saint-Simon — who,  by  the  way,  had  no  personal 
knowledge  of  the  woman  whom  he  so  rancorously 
assails — has  undergone  a  remarkable  change,  and, 
in  place  of  the  scheming  hypocrite  who,  foreseeing 
that,  in  her  case,  religion  and  virtue  were  the 
safest  cards  to  play,  passed  from  a  youth  of  secret 
vice   to  a  middle-age  of  ostentatious  piety,   and, 

after  basely  betraying  her  benefactress,   Madame 


A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  163 

de  Montespan,  contrived  to  bewitch  a  superstitious 
monarch  into  a  humiliating  subjection  to  her, 
the  unacknowledged  wife  of  Louis  xiv  is  not 
infrequently  represented  as  "a  sort  of  courtly 
Jeanne  d'Arc,  divinely  appointed  to  convert  a 
licentious  King  from  the  error  of  his  ways." 

The  truth,  as  we  have  pointed  out  in  a  previous 
work,1  would  appear  to  lie  midway  between  these 
two  extremes.  Madame  de  Maintenon  deserves 
neither  the  shameful  aspersions  of  her  enemies 
nor  the  extravagant  praises  of  her  friends.  Her 
character  was  a  singularly  complex  one,  in  which 
the  two  dominating  traits  were  an  intense  religious 
conviction  and  a  worldly  prudence  pushed  to  the 
verge  of  unscrupulousness.  That  she  was  ever 
guilty  of  the  irregularities  of  which  certain  of  her 
contemporaries  accuse  her  is  in  the  highest  degree 
improbable ;  in  the  first  place,  because  the  charge 
rests  on  very  unsatisfactory  evidence ;  and,  in  the 
second,  because  such  conduct  is  entirely  alien  to 
the  character  of  a  woman  whom  "  every  trust- 
worthy record  proves  to  have  moved  in  a  plane 
that  diverged  at  right  angles  to  the  path  which 
leads  to  sins  of  the  flesh,' ' 2  and  whose  favourite 
maxim  was  that  an  irreproachable  behaviour  is 
also  the  cleverest  in  a  worldly  sense.3 

On  the  other  hand,  to  maintain,  as  her  enthusi- 

1  See  the  author's  "  Madame  de  Montespan,"  from  winch,  by  the 
courtesy  of  Messrs.  Harper  &  Brothers,  we  have  been  permitted 
to  reproduce  several  passages. 

2  Cotter  Morison,  "  Madame  de  Montespan  :   an  etude." 

3  On  the  supposed  irregularities  of  Madame  de  Maintenon,  see 
our  "  Madame  de  Montespan  "  (p.  86),  where  the  question  of  her 
relations  with  the  Marquis  de  Villarceaux,  whom  Saint-Simon, 
Madame,  and  Ninon  de  l'Enclos  assert  to  have  been  her  lover,  is 

1 64  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

astic  admirers  insist  on  doing,  that  her  whole 
conduct  was  dictated  by  the  purest  and  most 
disinterested  motives,  that  her  sole  object  was 
the  salvation  of  Louis  xiv,  will  not  bear  the  test 
of  investigation.  That  she  ardently  desired  to 
pluck  the  monarch  as  a  brand  from  the  burning  is 
beyond  question,  but  that  she  was  fully  alive 
to  the  material  advantages  which  the  post  of 
keeper  of  his  Majesty's  conscience  would  confer 
is  no  less  certain.  The  motives  which  guided  her 
in  this  matter,  as  in  every  action  of  her  life,  were 
two,  and  two  which  are  generally  considered  to 
be  utterly  incompatible — worldly  advancement  and 
eternal  salvation.  She  would  seem,  in  short,  to 
have  been  of  opinion  that  there  were  exceptions 
to  the  Scriptural  precept  concerning  the  impossi- 
bility of  serving  two  masters,  and  that  she  might 
hold  to  the  one  without  necessarily  despising  the 

But  let  it  not  be  supposed  that  it  was  worldly 
advancement  in  any  vulgar  sense  that  Madame 
de  Maintenon  desired.  To  give  her  her  due,  she 
set  small  store  by  the  things  to  which  other  royal 
favourites  attached  so  much  importance  ;  reason- 
able comfort  in  the  present,  reasonable  security 
for  the  future,  was  all  she  demanded.  But  she 
loved  the  praise  of  men,  and  especially  the  praise 
of  the  godly.  It  was  to  her  what  tabourets  and 
pensions  and  resplendent  toilettes  and  eight-horse 
coaches  and  royal  guards  were  to  the  Montespans 
and  the  Fontanges.  And  the  praise  of  the  godly 
she  had  indeed  received  :  good  measure,  pressed 
down,  running  over.  "  All  good  men,"  writes  M. 
Lavallee,  "  the  Pope,  the  bishops,  applauded  the 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  165 

victory  of  Madame  de  Maintenon,  and  considered 
that  she  had  rendered  a  signal  service  to  the  King 
and  to  the  State."  x  "I  am  but  too  much 
extolled  (glorifiie) ,"  wrote  the  lady,  with  proud 
humility,  "  for  certain  good  intentions  which  I 
owe  to  God." 

When,  after  the  death  of  the  Queen,  Louis  xiv, 
unwilling  to  expose  the  State  to  the  inconveniences 
and  dangers  which  a  second  family  might  entail, 
unable  to  dispense  with  a  wife,  and  yet  sincerely 
desirous  of  leading  a  regular  life,  decided  to  offer 
his  hand  to  the  keeper  of  his  conscience,   whose 
age    prevented    her    from    having    children,    and 
whose  companionship  had  already  become  almost 
a    necessity    of    his    existence,    her    triumph    was 
complete.     Nor  did  the  King  ever  have  cause  to 
regret    an    action,    which,    though    never    publicly 
acknowledged,  shocked  the  prejudices  of  the  great 
majority  of  his  subjects  and  involved  the  sacrifice 
of    some    of    his    most    cherished    principles.     He 
found  in  Madame  de  Maintenon  a  wife  who,  if  she 
were  no  longer  young,  still  retained  many  of  the 
"  thousand    charms "   of    which    Mile  de   Scudery 
speaks  in  her  portrait  of   Lyrianne,2   "  reminding 
one  of  those  last  fair  days  of  autumn,  when  the 
sun's  rays,  though  no  longer   dazzling,  have  none 
the  less  a  penetrating  softness,"  3 — a  wife,  amiable, 
self-sacrificing,  discreet,  disinterested,  who,  notwith- 
standing her   narrow  views,  gave  him  much  good 
counsel,    and    the  value    of   whose   moral   support 
during  the  political  and  domestic  misfortunes  which 

1  Correspondance  generate  de  Madame  de  Maintenon. 

2  Mile,  de  Scudery,  Cttlie. 

3  Imbert  de  Saint-Amand,  les  Femmes  de  Versailles  :  la  Cour  de 
Louis  xiv. 

1 66  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

clouded  the  last   years  of   his  reign  can  scarcely 
be  overestimated. 

The  extent  of  the  influence  exercised  by  Madame 
de  Maintenon  after  her  marriage  with  Louis  xiv 
has  been  the  subject  of  almost  as  much  discussion 
as  her  character,  and  is  by  no  means  easy  to  deter- 
mine. But  we  are  inclined  to  think  that  in  affairs 
of  State  it  was  really  very  small — infmitesimally 
small  compared  with  that  wielded  by  Madame  de 
Pompadour  in  the  succeeding  reign — and  that 
the  charge  so  often  brought  against  her  of  having 
pushed  the  King  to  the  Revocation  of  the  Edict 
of  Nantes,  and  the  persecution  which  accompanied 
that  shameful  and  disastrous  measure,  is  quite 
unfounded.1  Louis  xiv  never  let  the  reins  of 
government  out  of  his  hands  for  a  single  moment ; 
and,  if  he  transacted  business  with  his  Ministers 
in  her  apartments,  if  he  sometimes  jestingly  in- 
quired :  "  What  does  your  Solidity  think  about 
this  matter  ?  "  he  was  quick  to  resent  the  slightest 
attempt  on  her  Solidity's  part  to  interfere  in  matters 
which  he  deemed  outside  the  province  of  a  woman, 
as  Madame  de  Maintenon' s  own  letters  abundantly 
testify.     Here,  for  instance,  is  one  which  she  wrote, 

1  Madame  de  Maintenon  undoubtedly  approved  of  the  Revoca- 
tion itself,  but  so  did  practically  all  the  most  influential  persons 
about  the  King,  Colbert  and  Vauban  alone  excepted.  The  chief 
responsibility  for  the  measure  rests  with  Louvois  and  his  father, 
Michel  Le  Tellier,  and  it  had  been  resolved  upon  long  before 
Madame  de  Maintenon  was  in  a  position  to  exercise  much  influence. 
Moreover,  if  she  approved  of  the  Revocation,  she  certainly  did 
not  approve  of  the  steps  taken  to  give  effect  to  it,  and,  so  far  as 
she  dared,  she  strove  to  obtain  some  mitigation  of  the  severities 
practised  against  the  unfortunate  Huguenots.  "  I  fear,  Madame," 
observed  the  King  to  her  on  one  occasion,  "  that  the  mildness 
with  which  you  wish  the  Calvinists  to  be  treated  proceeds  from 
some  remaining  sympathy  with  your  former  religion." 



A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  167 

in  September  1698,  to  Cardinal  de  Noailles,  Arch- 
bishop of  Paris  : — 

"  The  King  will  allow  only  his  Ministers  to 
talk  to  him  about  business.  He  was  displeased 
because  the  Nuncio  addressed  himself  to  me. 
Make  him  understand  the  position  once  and  for 
all,  I  implore  you.  I  can  only  give  general  advice 
on  occasions,  and  have  no  control  over  particular 
events,  which  are  seldom  spoken  of  before  me. 
I  should  be  well  rewarded  for  the  life  of  slavery 
I  lead,  if  I  could  do  some  good.  I  can  only  groan, 
Monseigneur,  over  the  turn  matters  are  taking.  .  .  . 
Pray  tell  the  Nuncio  that  I  do  not  venture  to 
interfere  in  affairs  of  State,  that  my  views  are 
what  he  does  me  the  honour  of  believing  them  to 
be,  but  that  I  am  compelled  to  keep  them  to  my- 
self." x 

At  the  same  time,  if  she  possessed  little  or 
no  political  power,  it  is  beyond  question  that  the 
King  made  few  Court  or  ecclesiastical  appoint- 
ments without  consulting  her  ;  that  her  influence 
in  such  matters  as  the  distribution  of  honours, 
and  pensions  and  places  was  very  great  indeed, 
and  that  a  word  from  her  was  sufficient  to  make 
or  mar  the  fortune  of  any  courtier.  How  else 
are  we  to  account  for  the  fact  that,  as  she  her- 
self tells  us,  her  apartment  was  like  a  crowded 
church,  and  that  Ministers  and  Marshals  and  even 
members  of  the  Royal  Family  were  content  to 
cool  their  heels  in  her  ante-chamber  until  it  was 
her  good  pleasure  to  receive  them  ?  How  else 
for  the  virulence  with  which  contemporaries  like 
Saint-Simon  and  Madame  have  assailed  her  ? 

1  Corvespondance  generate,  Letter  of  September  12,  1698. 

1 68  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

But,  despite  her  astonishing  success,  Madame 
de  Maintenon  was  far  from  a  happy  woman.  In 
her  letter  to  the  Cardinal  de  Noailles,  she  speaks 
of  her  "  life  of  slavery,"  and  her  conversation 
with  Madame  de  Glapion  at  Saint-Cyr  in  1705 
shows  that  this  was  no  mere  figure  of  speech.  There 
was,  indeed,  scarcely  an  hour  in  the  day  which 
she  could  call  her  own.  She  seldom  left  her  apart- 
ment, save  to  attend  Mass,  to  drive  with  the  King, 
or  to  visit  Saint-Cyr  ;  the  most  of  the  morning 
and  afternoon  was  occupied  in  receiving  persons 
who  came  to  pay  their  court  to  her,  in  listening  to 
the  more  or  less  vapid  conversation  of  members  of 
the  Royal  Family,  all  of  whom  visited  her  almost 
daily,  and  her  voluminous  correspondence  ;  while 
the  evening  hours,  which  Louis  xiv  invariably 
passed  in  her  apartments,  were  the  most  trying 
of  all. 

"  When  the  King  returns  from  the  chase,  he 
comes  to  me  ;  my  door  is  closed,  and  no  one  is 
allowed  to  enter.  So  I  am  alone  with  him,  and 
have  to  listen  to  his  troubles,  if  he  happens  to  have 
any,  and  bear  with  his  melancholy  and  his  vapeurs. 
Sometimes  he  bursts  into  tears,  which  he  cannot 
control,  or  else  he  complains  of  illness.  He  has 
no  conversation.  Then  some  Minister  arrives, 
who  is  often  the  bearer  of  bad  news,  and  the  King 
works  with  him.  If  they  wish  me  to  be  a  third 
in  their  consultation,  they  call  me.  If  not,  I 
withdraw  to  a  little  distance,  and  it  is  then  that 
I  say  my  afternoon  prayers.  .  .  . 

"  While  the  King  is  still  working,  I  sup  ;  but 
it  is  not  once  in  two  months  that  I  can  do 
so  at  my  leisure.  I  know  that  the  King  is 
alone,   or   that    I  have  left   him  sad,    or  when  M. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  169 

Chamillart 1  has  almost  finished  with  him,  he  some- 
times sends  and  begs  me  to  make  haste.  Another 
day,  he  wishes  to  show  me  something.  In  con- 
sequence, I  am  always  hurried,  and  am  forced  to 
eat  quickly.  I  have  my  fruit  brought  in  with  the 
meat,  in  order  to  save  time. 

"  After  this,  as  you  may  suppose,  it  is  late. 
I  have  been  up  since  six  in  the  morning,  and  I 
have  not  had  time  to  breathe  freely  the  whole 
day.  I  am  overcome  with  fatigue  ;  I  yawn  .  .  . 
and  at  length  I  find  myself  so  tired,  that  I  can 
hold  out  no  longer.  Sometimes  the  King  perceives 
it,  and  says  :  '  You  are  very  tired,  are  you  not  ? 
You  ought  to  go  to  bed.'  So  I  go  to  bed  ;  my 
women  come  and  undress  me,  but  I  know  that  the 
King  wishes  to  say  something  and  is  waiting  till 
they  go  ;  or  some  Minister  is  present,  and  he  is 
afraid  of  being  overheard  by  my  women.  That 
makes  him  ill  at  ease,  and  myself  also.  What 
can  I  do  ?  I  hurry,  and  to  such  an  extent  that 
I  am  almost  faint  ;  and  you  must  know  that  all 
my  life  I  have  hated  being  hurried.  .  .  .  Well, 
at  last  I  am  in  bed  ;  I  dismiss  my  women  ;  the 
King  approaches  and  sits  down  by  my  pillow. 
Although  I  am  in  bed,  there  are  many  things 
I  require,  since  mine  is  not  a  glorified  body  with- 
out wants.  But  there  is  no  one  present  whom 
I  can  ask  for  what  I  need  ;  not  one  of  my  women. 
It  is  not  because  I  could  not  have  them  ;  for 
the  King  is  kindness  itself,  and,  if  he  thought  that 
I  required  one  woman,  he  would  put  up  with  ten. 
But  he  never  realises  that  I  am  uncomfortable. 
Since  he  is  his  own  master  everywhere,  and  does 
precisely  what  he  pleases,  he  cannot  imagine 
that  any  one  should  do  otherwise,  and  believes 
that,  if  I  ask  for  nothing,  I   require  nothing.     He 

1  Michel  de  Chamillart,  Comptroller  -  General  of  Finance  and 
Minister  of  War. 

170  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

remains  with  me  till  he  goes  to  supper.  At  ten 
or  a  quarter-past  every  one  leaves  me,  and  I  take 
the  relief  of  which  I  am  in  need  ;  but  frequently 
the  anxieties  and  fatigues  I  have  endured  during 
the  day  prevent  me  from  sleeping." 

Her  lot  would  undoubtedly  have  been  easier 
to  bear  if  she  had  had  any  love  for  the  man  to 
whom  she  had  dedicated  her  life.  But,  though 
she  entertained  for  Louis  xiv  veneration,  gratitude, 
and  devotion,  she  did  not  love  him.  Nor  is  this 
difficult  to  understand.  "  Women,"  observes  one 
of  her  biographers,  "  are  seldom  enamoured  of 
the  men  to  whom  they  owe  their  fortune.  In 
general,  they  prefer  to  protect  than  to  be  pro- 
tected. They  find  it  sweeter  to  inspire  gratitude 
than  to  experience  it.  What  they  like  best  of 
all,  is  to  show  their  superiority,  and  precisely 
because  their  sex  seems  to  be  condemned  by 
Nature  to  a  position  of  dependence,  they  are  happy 
when  the  roles  are  inverted,  when  it  is  they  who 
dominate,  protect,  oblige.  Madame  de  Maintenon 
was  too  much  indebted  to  Louis  xiv  to  be  in  love 
with  him."  x 

But,  since  she  was  a  woman,  and,  moreover,  a 
woman  of  sensibility,  she  must  needs  bestow 
her  affection  somewhere,  and  it  was  on  children 
that  she  lavished  it.  "  She  was  always  devoted 
to  children,"  writes  her  secretary  and  confidante, 
Mile.  d'Aumale,  "  and  liked  to  see  them  behave 
naturally,"  and  children  so  well  understood  this 
goodness  that  "  they  were  more  at  their  ease  with 
her  than  with  any  one."     Having  no  children  of 

1  Imbert  de  Saint-Amand,  les  Femmes  de  Versailles  :  la   Couy 
de  Louis  xiv. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  171 

her  own,  she  was  compelled  to  seek  satisfaction 
for  her  maternal  sentiments  in  devoting  herself 
to  those  of  other  people.  The  first  objects  of 
her  solicitude  were  the  adulterine  offspring  of 
Louis  xiv  and  Madame  de  Montespan,  partic- 
ularly the  Due  du  Maine,  who  probably  owed  his 
life  to  her  devoted  care,  and  for  whom  she  always 
retained  the  deepest  affection.  Then,  when  they 
had  passed  out  of  her  hands,  certain  of  the  de- 
moiselles of  Saint-Cyr  became  very  near  to  her 
heart,  among  whom  may  be  mentioned  Madame 
de  Glapion,  the  recipient  of  the  confidence  we 
have  just  cited,  Mile.  d'Aumale,  and  a  Mile,  de 
Pincre,  to  whom  she  was  so  much  attached  that 
she  permitted  her  to  address  her  as  "  maman." 
Finally,  the  little  Princess  of  Savoy  appeared  upon 
the  scene,  before  whose  charms  she  succumbed 
almost  as  easily  as  had  the  King. 

The  success  of  the  princess  in  conquering  the 
good  graces  of  Madame  de  Maintenon  was  un- 
doubtedly facilitated  by  the  deference  which, 
from  the  very  first,  she  was  careful  to  pay  that 
lady,  and  the  docility  with  which  she  listened  to 
her  counsels.  "I  do  what  you  order  me  about 
Madame  de  Maintenon,"  she  writes  to  Madame 
Roy  ale.  "  I  have  much  affection  for  her,  and  con- 
fidence in  her  advice.  Believe,  my  dear  grand- 
mother, all  that  she  writes  to  you  about  me, 
though  I  do  not  deserve  it ;  but  I  should  like  you 
to  have  that  pleasure,  for  I  count  on  your  affection, 
and  I  never  forget  all  the  proofs  that  you  have 
given  me  of  it." 

The  girl  solved  very  happily  the  somewhat 
delicate  question  of  how  she  was  to  address  Madame 

172  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

de  Maintenon  by  calling  her  "  ma  tante,"  com- 
bining thus  prettily,  observes  Saint-Simon,  rank 
and  friendship.  According  to  Languet  de  Gergy, 
she  was  merely  following  the  example  of  the  lady's 
niece,  Mile.  d'Aubigne, — daughter  of  Madame  de 
Maintenon' s  dissipated  brother,  Charles  —  who 
naturally  addressed  her  thus.1  But  the  Contessa 
della  Rocca  points  out  "  that  the  Piedmontese 
equivalent  '  magna '  was  in  common  use  in  families 
to  denote  women  whose  age,  position,  degree  of 
relation,  or  friendship  entitled  them  to  a  certain 
superiority,  and  that  the  princess  no  doubt  im- 
ported the  custom  from  her  own  country."  2 

Madame  de  Maintenon  quickly  perceived  that 
the  task  of  completing  the  education  of  her  charge 
would  be  no  sinecure  ;  since,  from  a  scholastic 
point  of  view,  it  could  scarcely  be  said  to  have 
begun.  The  girl  was  surprisingly  ignorant,  and, 
though  she  began  by  giving  her  professors  of 
music  and  dancing,  she  soon  decided  that  a  writing- 
master  was  a  more  immediate  necessity.  However, 
though  the  princess  really  seems  to  have  taken 
pains,  and  assures  her  grandmother,  some  months 
after  her  marriage,  that  she  was  sensible  of  "  the 
disgrace  of  a  married  woman  [setat  13]  having  a 
master  for  so  common  a  thing,"  3  writing  and  ortho- 
graphy were,  as  we  have  already  mentioned,  obstacles 
which,  to  the  end  of  her  days,  she  never  succeeded 
in  more  than  partially  overcoming.4 

1  M&rnoires  pour  servir  d  I'histoire  de  la  fondation  de  la  maison 
de  Saint-Cyr  et  de  Madame  de  Maintenon,  cited  by  M.  d'Haussonville. 

2  Contessa  della  Rocca,  Correspondance  inedite  de  la  Duchesse  de 
Bourgogne  et  la  Reine  d'Espagne. 

3  The  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  to  Madame  Royale,  May  26,  1698, 
in  Gagniere.  *  See  p.  37  supra. 

A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY  173 

Madame  de  Maintenon  was  much  exercised  in 
her  mind  to  find  that  the  ignorance  of  the  little 
princess  extended  to  history,  a  subject  which, 
in  those  days,  played  an  important  part  in  the 
curriculum  of  all  royal  personages.  To  remedy 
this  omission,  she  had  recourse  to  the  good  offices 
of  Dangeau,  whom  she  persuaded  to  give  her  High- 
ness lessons  in  Roman  History — recommending 
for  that  purpose  the  Histoire  de  V  Empire  romain 
of  Nicolas  Coeffeteau,  "  because  the  chapters  are 
short,  and  our  princess  does  not  care  for  what  is 
long."  x  In  another  letter,  she  begs  Dangeau  to 
endeavour  to  cure  the  princess  of  a  little  mocking 
laugh  to  which  she  was  addicted,  and  advises  him 
to  read  her  a  certain  conversation  on  the  subject 
of  raillery  which  she  herself  had  composed  for  the 
benefit  of  the  young  ladies  of  Saint-Cyr.  It  would 
be  interesting  to  know  how  this  versatile  personage 
acquitted  himself  in  his  new  role,  but  unfortunately 
his  modesty  prevents  him  from  enlightening  us. 

In  the  eyes  of  Madame  de  Maintenon,  the 
moral  and  religious  training  of  the  princess  was 
naturallv  of  far  greater  importance  than  the 
purelv  intellectual.  This  she  had  the  satisfaction 
of  finding  had  been  as  efficient  as  the  other  had 
been  the  reverse,  and  that  the  moment  the  child 
was  assured  that  anything  she  proposed  doing  was 
"  sinful,"  she  invariably  replied  :  "  If  it  is  sinful, 
I  will  not  do  it."  However,  since  her  charge  was 
now  at  an  age  when  the  mind  is  peculiarly  suscep- 
tible to  new  impressions,  and  the  younger  ladies 
of  the  Royal  Family  certainly  did  not  share  her 
horror  of  sin,   Madame  de  Maintenon  decided  to 

1  Correspondance'genirale,  Letter  of  June  21,  1697. 

174  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

remove  her  as  far  as  possible  from  the  sphere  of 
their  influence,  and,  as  we  have  mentioned,  to 
place  a  veto  on  certain  pleasures  which  she  held 
to  be  highly  undesirable  for  one  so  young. 

At  the  same  time,  with  her  usual  sagacity  in 
dealing  with  young  girls,  she  encouraged  such 
amusements  as  might  be  safely  indulged  in,  and, 
recognising  that  the  child  naturally  required  the 
companionship  of  those  nearer  her  own  age  than 
the  ladies  of  her  Household,  resolved  that  she 
should  spend  as  much  time  as  possible  at  Saint- 

A  few  words  concerning  this  celebrated  insti- 
tution may  not  be  out  of  place. 

The  idea  of  rendering  assistance  to  poor  girls  of 
gentle  birth,  and  protecting  them  from  the  dangers 
through  which  she  herself  had  passed,  was  one 
which  Madame  de  Maintenon  had  long  cherished, 
and  for  some  years  before  her  marriage  to  Louis 
xiv  she  had  maintained,  first  at  Rueil,  and  after- 
wards at  Noisy,  an  institution  in  which  a  number 
of  the  daughters  of  the  petite  noblesse  were  educated 
in  a  "  Christian,  reasonable,  and  noble  "  manner. 
Lack  of  funds,  however,  naturally  prevented  her 
from  accepting  more  than  a  small  proportion  of  the 
candidates  who  presented  themselves  for  admis- 
sion, or  from  giving  those  whom  she  selected  all 
the  advantages  which  she  wished  them  to  enjoy. 
But  in  1684 — the  year  of  her  marriage — she  per- 
suaded the  King  to  perfect  the  undertaking,  and 
to  build  and  endow  for  the  benefit  of  her  protegees 
a  house  at  Saint-Cyr,  where  her  benevolent  designs 
might  have  full  scope. 

This     house,    constructed     from     designs    by 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  175 

Mansart,  at  a  cost  of  1,200,000  livres,  was  com- 
pleted by  July  1686,  when  the  school  was  trans- 
ferred thither,  and  contained  accommodation  for 
some  two  hundred  and  fifty  pupils x  and  their 
mistresses.  The  latter,  who  were  called  "  dames 
de  Saint-Louis,"  were  nuns,  and  were  recruited, 
as  occasion  arose,  by  postulants  selected  from 
among  the  elder  scholars.  The  first  Superior  was 
Madame  de  Brinon,  a  member  of  the  Ursuline 

Although  the  mistresses  of  Saint-Cyr  were 
under  vows,  and  Madame  de  Maintenon  lent  a 
sympathetic  ear  to  the  appeal  of  any  demoiselle 
who  felt  that  religion  was  her  vocation,  the  aim 
of  Saint-Cyr  was  not  to  manufacture  nuns,  but  "  to 
bring  the  girls  up  piously  to  the  duties  of  their 
condition,"  that  is  to  say,  to  people  the  chateaux 
and  manor-houses  of  provincial  France  with  a 
race  of  high-principled,  practical  young  women, 
who  would  make  excellent  wives  and  mothers, 
and  who  would  not  disdain  "  to  see  that  the  cattle, 
the  turkeys,  and  the  fowls  were  properly  tended, 
and  occasionally  to  lend  a  hand  themselves." 
Indeed,  during  the  first  few  years  of  Saint-Cyr's 
existence,  the  education  given  there  seems  to  have 
been  conducted  on  sound  and  judicious  lines,  and 
the  results  to  have  been  eminently  satisfactory 
from  every  point  of  view. 

However,   after  the  remarkable  success  which 

1  The  pupils  were  divided,  according  to  their  age,  into  four 
classes,  named  after  the  colour  of  the  ribbons  which  they  wore 
to  distinguish  them.  The  Red  Class  contained  the  youngest 
girls,  from  seven  to  eleven  years  of  age  ;  the  Green  Class,  those 
from  eleven  to  fourteen  ;  the  Yellow  Class,  those  from  fourteen  to 
seventeen  ;  and  the  Blue  Class,  those  from  seventeen  to  twenty. 

176  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

attended  the  pupils'  representations  of  Racine's 
Esther  before  the  King  and  the  Court,  which  led 
to  several  of  the  damsels  being  asked  in  marriage, 
Madame  de  Maintenon  learned,  to  her  profound  con- 
sternation, that  a  spirit  of  worldliness  and  frivolity 
—  nay  even  of  coquetry  —  was  gaining  ground 
among  her  protegees  ;  that  some  of  them  declined 
to  sing  Latin  chants  in  church,  from  fear  of  in- 
juring their  pronunciation,  and  that  they  were 
"  becoming  more  proud  and  haughty  than  would 
be  seemly  in  great  princesses."  She  therefore 
decided  that  she  had  been  "  building  on  sand," 
and  that  the  harm  which  had  been  done  could 
only  be  repaired  by  a  complete  change  in  the 
system  of  education.  From  that  time,  the  regu- 
lations to  which  the  girls  were  subjected  became 
much  more  severe,  and,  from  fear  of  corrupting 
the  heart,  much  that  might  have  served  to  enlarge 
the  mind  was  banished  from  the  curriculum.  The 
result  of  thus  permitting  her  scruples  to  get  the 
better  of  the  sound  judgment  which  she  had 
hitherto  shown  was  fatal  to  the  best  interests 
of  the  institution,  and  the  remark  made  by  Louis 
xv,  more  than  half  a  century  later,  that  Saint- 
Cyr  produced  nothing  but  prudes,  was  probably 
not  without  justification,  though  perhaps  le  Bien- 
Aime  can  scarcely  be  regarded  as  an  impartial 

Saint-Cyr  was  the  pride  and  joy  of  Madame 
de  Maintenon' s  life  ;  she  regarded  it  as  her  work, 
her  creation,  her  own  domain,  wherein  she  had 
at  last  succeeded  in  producing  the  perfect  ideal 
that  she  cherished,  and  her  devotion  to  it  amounted 
to  a  positive  passion.     "  Sanctify  your  house,"  said 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  177 

she  to  the  dames  de  Saint-Louis,  "  and  through 
your  house  the  whole  kingdom.  I  would  shed 
my  blood  to  be  able  to  communicate  the  education 
of  Saint-Cyr  to  all  religious  houses  which  educate 
young  girls.  In  comparison  with  Saint-Cyr,  every- 
thing else  is  foreign  to  me,  and  my  nearest  re- 
latives are  less  dear  to  me  than  the  least  of  the 
good  daughters  of  the  community."  When- 
ever she  could  escape  for  a  few  hours  from  the 
tedium  of  the  Court,  she  repaired  to  this  beloved 
retreat  for  rest  and  consolation.  "  When  I  see 
the  door  closing  behind  me  as  I  enter  here,"  she 
once  observed  to  Madame  de  Glapion,  "  I  am  full 
of  joy,  and  I  never  depart  without  pain.  Often 
on  returning  to  Versailles,  I  think  :  '  This  is  the 
world,  and  apparently  the  world  for  which  Jesus 
Christ  would  not  pray  on  the  eve  of  His  death.  .  .  . 
Here  all  the  passions  are  in  action  :  self-interest, 
ambition,  envy,  pleasure.'  I  confess  to  you  that 
this  reflection  inspires  me  with  a  sense  of  sadness 
and  horror  for  that  place  where,  nevertheless, 
I  have  to  live." 

However,  as  one  of  her  most  profound  ad- 
mirers is  fain  to  admit,  it  was  not  religion  alone 
which  made  her  prefer  the  convent,  to  the  palace. 
"  At  Versailles,  she  is  constrained,  incommoded ; 
she  obeys.  At  Saint-Cyr,  she  is  free,  she  com- 
mands, she  governs.  ...  At  Versailles,  she  poss- 
ibly regrets  the  crown  and  the  ermine  mantle 
which  are  lacking  to  her.  At  Saint-Cyr,  she  has 
no  need  of  them,  for  there  her  sovereignty  is  un- 
disputed. Her  lightest  words  are  accepted  as 
oracles.  Her  letters,  read  in  the  presence  of  the 
whole  community,  evoke  universal  admiration. 

178  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

The  inmates  to  whom  they  are  addressed  boast 
of  them  as  titles  of  glory.  Madame  de  Maintenon 
is  almost  the  Queen  of  France.  She  is  absolutely 
Queen  of  Saint-Cyr."  l 

About  a  fortnight  after  the  Princess  Adelaide's 
arrival  at  Versailles — to  be  exact,  on  November 
25,  1696 — Madame  de  Maintenon  took  her  to  Saint- 
Cyr  for  the  first  time,  where  her  visit  naturally 
aroused  the  liveliest  interest.  She  had  decided 
that,  on  this  occasion,  the  princess  was  to  be  re- 
ceived with  all  the  honours  due  to  her  rank,  and 
the  whole  community,  in  long  cloaks,  met  her 
at  the  door  of  the  cloister,  where  the  Superior, 
Madame  du  Peyrou,  bade  her  welcome  in  a  com- 
plimentary speech.  All  the  demoiselles  were 
drawn  up  in  a  double  line,  through  which  she 
was  escorted  to  the  church,  and  afterwards  shown 
over  the  refectory,  the  dormitories,  the  class-rooms, 
and  the  rest  of  the  establishment.  The  reception 
concluded  with  a  dialogue,  recited  by  the  pupils, 
which  had  been  composed  for  the  occasion  by  one  of 
the  dames,  and  "  was  seasoned  with  delicate  praise."  2 

The  princess  was  delighted  at  all  she  saw,  and 
on  her  return  to  Versailles  went  to  find  the  King, 
to  tell  him  how  much  she  had  enjoyed  herself. 
She  was  eager  to  return,  and,  as  Madame  de  Main- 
tenon was  only  too  pleased  to  gratify  her  wish, 
she  soon  became  a  kind  of  habituee  of  Saint-Cvr, 
and  went  there  at  least  once  a  week.  Sometimes 
she  accompanied  Madame  de  Maintenon  on  her 
afternoon  visits,   but  more   often  she  went  early 

1  Imbert  de  Saint-Amand,  les   Femmes  de   Versailles  :    la  Cour 
de  Louis  xiv. 

2  Lavallee,  Histoire  de  la  maison  royale  de  Saint-Cyr. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  179 

in  the  morning  and  remained  all  day,  sharing 
the  lessons,  meals,  and  recreations  of  the  pupils. 
On  these  occasions,  she  was  treated  without  cere- 
mony, though  always  with  respect,  wore  the 
ordinary  dress  of  the  school,  and  answered  to 
the  name  of  Mile,  de  Lastic,  which  was  that  of  a 
pupil  who  had  recently  left." 

The  Memoires  of  the  dames  of  Saint-Cyr 
furnish  us  with  some  interesting  and  amusing 
details  concerning  the  visits  of  the  princess : 

"  She  was  good,  affable,  gracious  to  everybody, 
interesting  herself  in  the  different  duties  of  the 
dames,  and  in  all  the  occupations  and  studies  of 
the  demoiselles  ;  subjecting  herself  readily  to  all 
the  regulations  of  the  establishment,  even  to 
silence  ;  running  and  playing  with  the  "  Reds  " 
in  the  long  alleys  of  the  garden  ;  going  with  them 
to  choir,  confession,  and  catechism ;  appearing 
also  at  the  novitiate  and  following  its  austere 
exercises,  and  even  at  the  assemblies  of  the  Chapter, 
in  order  that  she  might  learn  to  take  interest 
in  the  community." 

Although  the  princess's  age  entitled  her  to 
join  the  Green  Class,  which,  as  we  have  said,  was 
composed  of  girls  from  eleven  to  fourteen  years  of 
age,  her  education  had  been  so  neglected  that 
it  was  found  necessary  to  place  her  among  the 
"  Reds,"  whose  instruction  was  limited  to  the 
"  three  R's,"  the  elements  of  grammar,  a  little 
Scriptural  History,  and  the  Catechism.  Since  it 
was  the  custom  to  test  each  pupil's  knowledge 
of  the  Catechism  in  the  presence  of  her  class- 
mates, and  great  importance  was  attached  to 
proficiency     therein,      the     dames     always     took 

180  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

the  precaution  of  warning  the  princess  of  the 
questions  which  were  to  be  put  to  her,  in  order 
that  she  might  learn  the  answers  by  heart  and 
fire  the  rest  with  a  spirit  of  emulation. 

Among  her  Highness' s  favourite  companions, 
was  Madame  de  Maintenon's  niece,  Mile,  d' 
Aubigne,  already  mentioned.  Notwithstanding 
their  affection  for  each  other,  however,  quarrels 
between  them  appear  to  have  been  of  not  in- 
frequent occurrence,  and  sometimes  they  even 
came  to  blows.  On  one  such  occasion,  it  hap- 
pened that  the  affray  was  interrupted  by  the 
arrival  of  a  message  from  Pere  Lecomte,  the 
princess's  confessor,  who  had  sent  to  remind  the 
young  lady  that  it  was  her  day  for  confession,  and 
that  he  was  awaiting  her  convenience.  "  Oh  !  " 
cried  Mile,  d' Aubigne,  with  a  malicious  smile,  "  how 
my  conscience  would  prick  if  it  were  I  who  had 
been  sent  for  to  go  to  confession  !  " 

Apropos  of  confession  at  Saint-Cyr,  Madame  de 
Caylus  relates  an  amusing  anecdote,  which  shows 
that  the  austere  atmosphere  of  that  establish- 
ment was  sometimes  powerless  to  quell  the  mis- 
chievous spirit  of  childhood.  One  afternoon,  when 
the  princess  came  there  in  the  company  of  Madame 
de  Maintenon,  she  found  that  a  general  confession 
was  in  progress,  and  accordingly  went  into  the 
confessional  and  knelt  down,  but  without  saying 
who  she  was.  Now,  on  this  occasion,  she  was 
not  wearing  the  simple  uniform  of  the  inmates, 
but  the  costly  gown  in  which  she  had  come  from 
Versailles ;  and  the  worthy  priest,  hearing  the 
rustle  of  silk,  and  concluding  that  his  penitent 
was  some  fashionable  sinner  from  the  Court,  who 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  181 

preferred  not  to  reveal  her  identity,  proceeded 
to  administer  such  admonition  as  he  considered 
needful.  The  princess,  choking  with  suppressed 
merriment,  heard  him  to  the  end,  and  then  ran 
off  to  find  Madame  de  Maintenon.  "  Ma  tante," 
cried  she,  "  I  am  enchanted  with  that  confessor  ; 
he  told  me  that  I  was  worse  than  Magdalene  !  " 

Although  the  alarming  consequences  which  had 
followed  the  representations  of  Esther  and  the 
invasion  of  the  profane  had  determined  Madame 
de  Maintenon  never  again,  under  any  circum- 
stances, to  leave  the  door  of  her  dovecot  ajar,  she 
still  permitted  the  two  plays  which  Racine  had 
written  at  her  request 1  to  be  performed  occasionally 
at  Saint-Cyr,  on  the  understanding  that  every  one 
not  connected  with  the  establishment  should  be 
rigorously  excluded.2     Thus,  on  January  30,  1697, 

1  The  second  play  was  Athalie,  which  was  played  before  the 
King  and  five  or  six  persons  whom  he  had  brought  with  him. 
This  was  the  last  occasion  on  which  profane  society  was  admitted 
to  a  theatrical  performance  at  Saint-Cyr. 

2  Her  instructions  to  the  dames  on  this  point  were  very  explicit : 
"Confine  these  amusements  to  your  institution,  and  do  not  give 
them  publicity  under  any  pretext  whatsoever.  It  will  always 
be  dangerous  to  permit  men  to  see  well-made  young  girls,  who 
increase  the  attractions  of  their  persons  by  playing  their  parts 
well.  Suffer,  then,  no  man  to  be  present,  rich  or  poor,  young  or  old, 
priest  or  layman  ;  no,  nor  even  a  saint,  if  there  be  such  a  thing 
on  earth  " — Lavallee,  Histoire  de  la  maison  royale  de  Saint-Cyr. 

Madame  de  Maintenon,  we  may  here  observe,  always  seems  to 
have  entertained  a  poor  opinion  of  the  opposite  sex,  and,  as 
she  grew  older,  to  have  regarded  the  most  of  those  who  composed 
it  as  so  many  roaring  lions  seeking  whom  they  might  devour. 
"  Flee  from  men,"  she  told  the  demoiselles,  "  as  from  your  mortal 
enemies.  Never  be  alone  with  them.  Take  no  pleasure  in  hearing 
that  you  are  pretty,  amiable,  or  have  a  fine  voice.  The  world  is 
a  malignant  deceiver,  which  seldom  means  what  it  says  ;  and  the 
majority  of  men  who  say  these  things  to  girls  do  it  in  the  hope 
of  finding  some  means  of  ruining  them." 

1 82  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

a  representation  of  Esther  was  given,  and  the 
Princess  Adelaide  coaxed  Madame  de  Maintenon 
into  giving  her  consent  to  her  appearing  in  it.  As, 
however,  she  was  of  course  too  young  to  fill  any  of 
the  leading  parts,  she  had  to  content  herself  with 
a  very  minor  role — that  of  "  une  jeune  Israelite."  x 
Nevertheless,  the  pleasure  she  derived  from  having 
taken  part  in  a  representation  of  "  that  adorable 
play" — as  Saint-Beuve  rightly  terms  Racine's 
masterpiece — no  doubt  sufficed  to  make  the  day 
a  memorable  one  in  her  life. 

Madame  de  Maintenon,  of  course,  did  not  neglect 
to  give  her  charge  frequent  counsels  as  to  her 
conduct  when  she  became  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne, 
and  particularly  in  regard  to  her  relations  with 
her  future  husband.  Entertaining  as  she  did  so 
poor  an  opinion  of  men,  her  attitude  towards 
matrimony  was  naturally  pessimistic,  and,  indeed, 
she  appears  to  have  regarded  it  as  a  kind  of  neces- 
sary evil.  Thus,  while  deprecating  the  disin- 
clination of  certain  of  the  dames  de  Saint-Louis  to 
speak  to  their  pupils  upon  the  subject  as  "  false 
delicacy,"  she  impressed  upon  them  the  duty  of 
fortifying  the  girls'  minds  against  any  illusions 
which  they  might  be  inclined  to  harbour,  and 
representing  marriage  as  a  condition  in  which 
loyalty  to  her  husband's  interests,  "  a  sincere  and 
discreet  zeal  for  his  salvation,"  the  management  of 
her  servants,  economy  in  her  household,  and  the  care 
and  education  of  her  children,  must  be  a  woman's 
paramount  considerations  ;  while  love,  companion- 
ship, and  sympathy  were  of  altogether  secondary 
importance  ;    in  a  word,   as  one  of  ceaseless  and 

1  Dangeau. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  183 

arduous  responsibility,  with  few,  if  any,  compensat- 
ing advantages.     "  When  once  they  are  married," 
she  writes,  "  they  will  discover  that  it  is  no  laughing 
matter.     You  must  accustom  them  to  speak  of  it 
seriously,  and  even  sadly,  for  I  think  that  it  is  the 
state  in  which  one  experiences  the  most  tribulations, 
even  in  the  most  favourable  circumstances."     And 
in    her   instructions   to   the   girls   themselves,    she 
observes  :    "  There  is  no  novitiate  to  prepare  you 
for  marriage.     It  is  difficult  to  foresee  how  far  a 
husband  may  carry  his  authority.     One   finds  few 
good  ones ;   in  truth,  I  have  only  known  two,  and 
were  I  to  say  only  one,  I  should  not  be  exaggerating." 
Such  counsels  were  scarcely  calculated  to  inspire 
her  protegees  with  any  consuming  desire  to  enter 
the  Holy  Estate,  and  it  is  not  altogether  surprising 
to  learn  that  many  of  them  preferred  to  become 
the   brides   of  Heaven,   rather  than   those  of  His 
Majesty's  lieges.     Nor  was  the  advice  which  she 
gave    the    Princess    Adelaide,    "  in    reference     to 
Monsieur  her  husband,"  though  certainly  judicious, 
particularly  exhilarating.     For  instance,   she   tells 
her  that  she  must  not  expect  perfect  happiness ; 
that  she  must  not  expect  her  husband  to  love  her 
as  much  as  she  loved  him,  "  since  men,  as  a  general 
rule,  are  less  affectionate  than  women,"  and  that 
she  must  pray  to  God  that  she  might  not  be  jealous. 
If,  however,  her  husband  was  so  ill-advised  as  to 
give  her  cause  for  that,  then  she  must  not  seek  to 
win  him  back  by  complaints  and  reproaches,  but 
by  sweetness  and  patience.     "  But   I   hope,"   she 
adds,  "  that  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  will  not  subject 
you  to  such  trials." 


Sentiments  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  in  regard  to  the  Princess 
Adelaide  —  Fenelon  and  Madame  Guyon  —  Fenelon  appointed 
Archbishop  of  Cambrai — The  conference  at  Issy — The  Maximes 
des  Saints — Indignation  of  Louis  xiv — Disgrace  of  Fenelon — 
Preparation  for  the  marriage  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  and  the 
Princess  Adelaide — Ruinous  rivalry  between  the  courtiers  in  the 
matter  of  dress — Completion  of  the  future  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne's 
Household — The  marriage — The  wedding-night — The  ball  of  De- 
cember ii,  1697 

MADAME  DE  MAINTENON  would  perhaps 
have  been  more  optimistic  in  regard  to  the 
matrimonial  future  of  the  Princess  Adelaide, 
if  she  had  been  aware  of  the  sentiments  of  the 
Due  de  Bourgogne  towards  that  young  lady. 
Although  the  prince  was  only  permitted  to  see  his 
bride-elect  once  a  week,  and  always  under  the 
Argus-eye  of  the  Duchesse  du  Lude,  he  had  soon 
conceived  for  her  a  warm  interest  and  affection, 
which  was  ere  long  to  ripen  into  a  passionate 
devotion ;  and,  a  few  days  after  the  princess's 
arrival  at  Versailles,  we  find  Govone  writing  to  the 
Duke  of  Savoy  : — 

"  I  was  present  yesterday  at  the  conversation 
which  the  princess  had  for  half  an  hour  with  the 
Due  de  Bourgogne,  which  is  fixed  regularly  for  each 
Saturday,  in  order  to  inspire  him  with  a  desire  to 
return  to  her.  From  the  outset  the  young  couple 
began  to  converse  familiarly,  and  concluded  more 


A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY  185 

sadly,  when  they  perceived  that  the  moment  when 
they  must  separate  was  at  hand."  ■ 

It  was  well  for  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  that  he 
was  able  to  contemplate  his  approaching  marriage 
with  such  satisfaction,  since  it  was  to  be  preceded 
by  one  of  the  greatest  trials  of  his  life  :  in  the 
summer  of  1697,  his  beloved  tutor  Fenelon,  to 
whom  he  owed  so  incalculable  a  debt,  fell  into 
disgrace,   and  was  banished  from  Court. 

Shortly  before  his  nomination  as  preceptor  to  the 
Due  de  Bourgogne,  Fenelon  had  made  the  acquaint- 
ance of  that  singular  illuminee,  Madame  Guyon, 
authoress  of  le  Moyen  court  et  facile  de  faire 
Voraison,  l' Exposition  du  Cantique  des  Cantiques,  and 
several  other  mystical  works,  in  which  she  expounded 
her  views  concerning  the  inner  life.  Although  not 
a  professed  follower  of  Molinos,  Madame  Guyon 
favoured  his  doctrines  at  least  to  the  extent  of 
maintaining  that,  in  the  state  of  perfect  con- 
templation of  God,  the  soul  resigns  itself  so  entirely 
to  the  divine  will,  and  the  love  of  God  is  so  purified 
from  all  personal  considerations,  that  it  cares  not 
whether  it  be  damned  or  saved  ;  and  there  can  be 
no  doubt  that,  from  the  orthodox  point  of  view, 
her  teaching  was  distinctly  dangerous. 

With  this  lady,  who  joined  to  her  intellectual 
attainments  a  great  personal  charm,  Fenelon  eventu- 
ally formed  a  "  lien  d'ame" 2  and,  under  her  influence, 

1  Despatch  of  November  16,  1696,  published  by  Gagniere. 

2  "  II  me  semble,"  says  Madame  Guyon,  in  her  autobiography, 
"que  mon  ame  a  um  rapport  entier  avec  la  .  et  ces  paroles 
de  David  pour  Jonathas  :  que  son  ame  itoit  collie  a  celle  de  David,  me 
Puroissoient  propres  a  cette  union."  In  the  theological  war  which 
subsequently  arose,   some  of  Fenelon's  enemies  did  not  hesitate 

1 86  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

began  to  develop  "  a  taste  for  refined  and  subtle 
piety  suited  only  for  choice  souls,"  x  and  to  com- 
pose little  mystical  treatises  of  his  own.  These 
were  freely  circulated  at  Saint-Cyr,  to  which,  on 
Fenelon's  recommendation  of  her  as  a  "  prodigy 
of  saintliness,"  Madame  de  Maintenon  had  granted 
Madame  Guyon  free  access,  and,  amid  such  con- 
genial surroundings,  the  new  mysticism  made  rapid 

In  1694,  Madame  de  Maintenon' s  confessor, 
Godet  des  Marais,  Bishop  of  Chartres,  who  had 
become  directeur  of  Saint-Cyr,  growing  alarmed  at 
the  disturbing  influence  which  Madame  Guyon' s 
doctrines  were  exercising  upon  his  flock,  subjected 
her  works  to  a  searching  examination,  and,  having 
found  them  "  full  of  dangerous  errors  and  suspicious 
novelties,"  intimated  to  the  lady  that  her  visits 
to  Saint-Cyr  would  no  longer  be  tolerated,  and 
persuaded  Madame  de  Maintenon  to  cease  all 
relations  with  her. 

Fenelon,  without  abjuring  the  opinions  which 
he  held  in  common  with  Madame  Guyon,  recom- 
mended her  to  submit  her  writings  to  a  commission 
composed  of  Bossuet,  Louis  de  Noailles,  Bishop  of 
Chalons,  who  soon  afterwards  became  Archbishop 
of  Paris,  and  Tronson,  his  old  tutor  at  Saint-Sulpice, 
and  promised  that  he  himself  would  abide  by  its  de- 
cision ;  indeed,  his  conduct  at  this  stage  of  the  affair 
was  marked  by  such  prudence  and  moderation,  that 

to  assert  that  there  was  something  more  than  spiritual  sympathy 
between  him  and  the  lady,  and  Pere  de  la  Rue,  an  anti-Quietist 
Jesuit  and  a  friend  of  Bossuet,  compared  them  in  the  pulpit  to 
Abelard  and  Heloi'se  ;  but  for  such  a  charge  there  does  not  appear 
to  have  been  the  smallest  justification. 
1  Sainte-Beuve. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  187 

most  persons  regarded  him  merely  as  the  victim 
of  the  errors  or  indiscretions  of  his  friend. 

Nevertheless,  his  appointment  in  February 
1695,  at  Madame  de  Maintenon's  suggestion,  to 
the  vacant  archbishopric  of  Cambrai,  was  pro- 
bably dictated  as  much  by  a  desire  to  remove  him 
to  a  distance  from  the  Court  as  by  the  wish  to  find 
a  suitable  reward  for  the  great  services  he  had 
rendered  in  the  education  of  the  Due  de  Bour- 
gogne  ;  and  it  was  undoubtedly  a  sore  disappoint- 
ment to  his  disciples,  who  had  confidently  antici- 
pated that  when  Harlay  de  Chanvallon,  the  aged 
Archbishop  of  Paris,  died,  Fenelon  would  step  into 
his  shoes. 

Louis  xiv,  who  does  not  appear  as  yet  to  have 
had  any  suspicion  how  deeply  his  grandson's  pre- 
ceptor was  compromised  by  the  conduct  of  Madame 
Guyon — Madame  de  Maintenon,  aware  that  she 
was  herself  to  blame  for  having  permitted  that  lady's 
doctrines  to  take  root  at  Saint-Cyr,  was  naturally 
anxious  to  hush  the  matter  up — would  have  been 
willing  to  release  the  new  prelate  from  the  obli- 
gation of  residing  in  his  diocese  until  the  education 
of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  and  his  brothers  was 
finished.  But  Fenelon,  feeling  the  impossibility  of 
reconciling  such  neglect  of  his  episcopal  duties 
with  his  conscience,  declined  his  Majesty's  offer,  and 
announced  his  intention  of  residing  at  Cambrai  for 
the  full  nine  months  prescribed  by  the  Council  of 
Trent,  and  devoting  the  remainder  of  the  year  to 
his  pupils. 

In  the  following  August,  he  left  the  Court  to 
take  up  his  duties  at  Cambrai,  but,  even  while  ab- 
sent, he  continued  to  direct  the  studies  of  the  young 

1 88  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

princes,  his  instructions  on  every  point  being 
faithfully  followed  by  Beauvilliers  and  the  sous- 
precepteur,  the  Abbe  de  Fleury.  However,  as 
matters  fell  out,  this  temporary  separation  from 
the  Due  de  Bourgogne  was  but  the  prelude  to  a 
complete  severance  between  tutor  and  pupil. 

After  his  nomination  to  the  see  of  Cambrai, 
Fenelon  had  taken  part  in  the  conference  of  divines 
which  met  at  Issy,  nominally  to  examine  the  works 
of  Madame  Guyon,  but  really  for  the  purpose  of  a 
general  investigation  of  the  new  spirituality. 

The  report  drawn  up  by  this  commission  was 
of  such  a  nature  that  he  at  first  refused  to  sub- 
scribe to  it ;  but,  after  it  had  been  amended  so  as 
to  meet  his  objections  to  some  extent,  he  signed, 
though  with  great  reluctance. 

But  Fenelon  felt  that  the  matter  could  not  be 
permitted  to  rest  here.  Bossuet  was  pursuing  the 
unfortunate  Madame  Guyon  with  an  intemperate 
zeal  which  could  not  but  be  repugnant  to  one  who 
entertained  for  her  the  greatest  sympathy  and 
respect  ;  and  he  ascertained  that  he  was  contem- 
plating a  work  whereby  he  intended  to  inflict  the 
coup  de  grace  upon  her  already  discredited  effu- 

Partly  from  a  chivalrous  desire  to  defend  his 
friend,  and  partly  from  a  belief  that  her  complete 
discomfiture  might  involve  his  own  discredit,  and 
ruin  all  hope  of  his  ever  realising  the  political 
ambitions  which  he  had  so  long  cherished,  he 
determined  to  constitute  himself  her  champion, 
and  to  anticipate  the  attack  of  Bossuet  by  a 
treatise  in  her  defence. 

This    work — the    famous    Maximes    des    Saints 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  189 

stir  la  vie  interienre,  published  in  February  1697 — 
and  Bossuet's  trenchant  reply  in  his  Instruction 
sur  les  Hats  d'oraison,  fanned  the  dying  embers 
of  the  Guyon  affair  into  a  furious  blaze,  which 
speedily  consumed  the  remains  of  Fenelon' s  favour 
in  high  circles.  Louis  xiv,  although  his  ignorance 
of  theological  subtleties  would  have  moved  any 
junior  student  at  Saint-Sulpice  to  irreverent 
mirth,1  had  always  piqued  himself  upon  his  ortho- 
doxy, and  having  put  down  Jansenism  with  a 
ruthless  hand,  he  was  not  disposed  to  show  him- 
self more  complaisant  towards  Quietism.  Accord- 
ingly, at  the  end  of  July,  he  wrote  to  Innocent  111 
to  denounce  the  Maximes  des  Saints  as  a  "  very 
bad  and  dangerous  book,"  and,  a  week  later, 
without  waiting  for  the  Pope's  decision,  sent 
orders  to  Fenelon,  who  was  then  at  Versailles, 
to  retire  to  his  diocese  and  to  remain  there.  If 
we  are  to  believe  Proyart,  the  Due  de  Bourgogne, 
who  had  an  audience  of  the  King  that  same  day, 
threw  himself  at  his  Majesty's  feet  and  implored 
him  not  to  separate  him  from  the  man  whom  he 
had  come  to  regard  almost  as  a  father.  To  which 
his  Majesty  replied  that  no  other  course  was 
possible,  since  it  was  "  a  question  of  the  purity 
of  the  Faith,"  adding  :  "  Monsieur  de  Meaux 
[Bossuet]  knows  more  about  this  matter  than 
either  you  or  I." 

Although  the  disgrace  of  Fenelon  was  followed 

1  Saint-Simon  asserts  that,  in  religious  matters,  he  was  as 
"  ignorant  as  a  child,"  while  Madame  declares  that  "  it  was 
impossible  for  a  man  to  be  more  ignorant  of  religion  than  the 
King  was."  They  probably  exaggerate,  but  there  can  be  no 
doubt  that,  for  "the  eldest  son  of  the  Church,"  Louis  xiv's  know- 
ledge of  theology  was  deplorably  deficient. 

1 9o  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

by  the  dismissal  of  nearly  all  the  officers  of  the 
Due  de  Bourgogne's  Household  who  had  enjoyed 
his  confidence,  Beauvilliers  retained  his  post,  and, 
through  the  medium  of  the  gouverneur's  brother- 
in-law,  the  Due  de  Chevreuse,  a  devoted  admirer 
of  the  exiled  archbishop,  the  latter  still  continued, 
to  some  extent,  to  direct  the  life  and  studies  of  his 
former  pupil.  As  for  that  prince,  though  for 
several  years  he  strictly  obeyed  the  orders  of  the 
King,  whose  wishes  he  held  to  be  "  an  emanation 
of  the  divine  will,"  to  hold  no  communication  with 
Fenelon,  time  and  absence,  as  we  shall  see  here- 
after, seem  only  to  have  strengthened  the  affection 
and  esteem  which  he  entertained  for  him. 

That  but  for  the  unauthorised  publication  of 
Telemaque,1  under  the  allegorical  disguise  of  which 
Louis  xiv,  notwithstanding  the  author's  denials, 
persisted  in  recognising  a  satire  against  his  own 
principles  of  government,  it  is  probable  that  the 
King,  despite  his  zeal  for  the  "  purity  of  the  Faith," 
might  have  been  ultimately  induced  to  pardon 
Fenelon.  But  the  appearance  of  that  work  effectu- 
ally destroyed  all  hopes  of  the  archbishop  regaining 
the  royal  favour,  and  he  remained  in  disgrace  for 
the  rest  of  his  life. 

It  will  be  remembered  that  the  marriage- 
contract  of  the  Princess  Adelaide  and  the  Due  de 
Bourgogne,  signed  at  Turin  on  September  15, 
1696,  stipulated  that  their  union  should  take  place 
so  soon  as  the  princess  had  completed  her  twelfth 
year,  although  it  was,  of  course,  understood  that 
for  some  time  after  its  celebration  the  marriage 

1  Vie  du  Dauphin,  pbve  de  Louis  XV. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  191 

would  be  one  in  name  only.  Louis  xiv,  delighted 
to  find  in  his  future  grand- daughter  an  intelligence 
and  self-possession  beyond  her  years,  and  impatient 
for  her  to  take  her  place  in  the  ceremonies  and 
pleasures  of  the  Court,  had,  on  the  morrow  of  her 
arrival  in  France,  announced  his  intention  of 
marrying  her  the  very  day  after  she  was  twelve 
years  old,  that  is  to  say,  on  December  7,  1697  ; 
and,  in  point  of  fact,  the  auspicious  event  was 
finally  fixed  for  that  date.1 

For  fully  two  months  previously  nothing  was 
heard  of  at  Versailles  but  the  approaching 
marriage,  the  preparations  for  which  were  marked 
by  a  lavishness  altogether  unprecedented,  even 
in  the  annals  of  that  prodigal  Court.  The  King, 
having  been  injudicious  enough  to  express  one 
evening  a  hope  that  the  balls  which  were  to  follow 
the  marriage  would  be  brilliant  affairs,  every  one 
appeared  to  consider  it  a  point  of  honour  to  eclipse 
his  or  her  neighbour,  and  "  there  was  no  longer  any 
question  of  consulting  either  one's  purse  or  one's 
rank."  2  The  gazettes — for  let  it  not  be  imagined 
that  the  sartorial  expert  is  the  exclusive  product 
of  modern  journalism — were  full  of  eloquent  de- 
scriptions of  the  ravishing  confections  which  were 
to  be  worn  by  this  or  that  noble  dame  ;  the  cou- 
turieres  of  the  Rue  Saint-Honore  and  the  Rue  de 
Richelieu   laboured   day  and    night,    and   did   not 

1  But  we  learn,  from  the  despatches  of  Ferrero  to  the  Duke 
of  Savoy,  that  the  10th  had  been  the  date  originally  decided  upon, 
and  that  it  was  changed  to  the  7th,  because,  since  that  day  fell 
upon  a  Saturday,  the  Parisians  would  thus  have  two  days  for 

2  Saint-Simon.  The  chronicler  tells  us  that  his  own  and  his 
wife's  habiliments  cost  20,000  livres. 

1 92  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

forget  to  raise  their  prices  to  an  extent  which,  in 
ordinary  times,  would  have  been  considered  pre- 
posterous, but  were  now  accepted  without  protest  ; 
the  jewellers'  shops  on  the  Quai  des  Orfevres  were 
besieged  by  persons  in  quest  of  costly  gems  where- 
with to  enhance  the  splendour  of  their  apparel ; 
and  so  great  was  the  demand  for  coiffeurs  that 
twenty  louis  were  readily  offered  for  the  services 
of  one  of  these  artists  for  a  single  hour  on  the  day 
of  the  marriage.  Not  a  few  of  those  who  partici- 
pated in  this  insane  rivalry  saw  ruin  staring  them 
in  the  face,  but,  since  to  a  courtier  of  Louis  xiv 
a  financial  debacle  was  always  preferable  to 
social  extinction,  it  is  doubtful  if  this  had  the 
effect  of  curtailing  their  outlay  by  so  much  as 
a  sol. 

Although  most  of  the  chief  offices  of  the  future 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne's  Household  had  been  filled 
prior  to  her  arrival  in  France,  several  important 
posts  still  remained  to  be  allotted,  among  which 
were  those  of  first  almoner,  first  maitre  d'hdtel, 
secretary,  surintendant,  physician,  and  surgeon. 
The  services  of  Bossuet  in  exposing  the  fallacies 
of  the  Maximes  des  Saints  were  recognised  by  his 
nomination  to  the  office  of  first  almoner — an 
appointment  which,  as  may  be  supposed,  was 
viewed  with  anything  but  a  favourable  eye  by  the 
Due  de  Bourgogne;  but  the  other  charges  were 
put  up  for  sale,  and  realised  sums  which,  in  view 
of  the  heavy  expenditure  which  the  marriage 
entailed,  must  have  been  very  welcome  to  the 
Treasury,  the  Marquis  de  Villacerf  paying  no  less 
than  300,000  livres  for  the  honour  of  supervising 
the  princess's  cuisine.     Many  of  the  minor  posts 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  193 

were  disposed  of  in  the  same  manner,  but  the  King 
reserved  a  certain  number  of  these  for  persons  who 
had  been  in  the  service  of  the  late  Dauphine,  to 
compensate  them  for  the  pecuniary  loss  they  had 
suffered  through  the  premature  death  of  their 
mistress.  Nothing  was  neglected  to  make  the 
entourage  of  the  princess  in  every  way  worthy 
of  a  future  Queen  of  France.  Her  Household, 
including  the  staff  of  her  stables,  numbered  at 
least  five  hundred  persons  ;  her  plate,  her  linen, 
and  all  the  appointments  of  her  table  were  of  the 
most  costly  description  ;  her  liveries,  resplendent 
with  gold  and  silver  lace  ;  her  carriages,  hardly 
inferior  to  those  of  the  King  ;  while  Tesse,  in  his 
quality  of  first  equerry,  despatched  agents  in 
every  direction,  even  so  far  as  Naples  and  The 
Hague,  in  search  of  horses  worthy  to  draw  these 
magnificent  equipages,  and  eventually  nearly  fifty 
splendid  animals  were  got  together. 

The  eventful  day  arrived.  Soon  after  eleven 
o'clock,  the  princes  and  princesses  and  the  principal 
ladies  of  the  Court  assembled  in  the  bedchamber 
of  the  Princess  Adelaide.  At  half-past  eleven, 
the  Due  de  Bourgogne,  accompanied  by  the  Due 
de  Beauvilliers,  was  conducted  thither  by  the 
Marquis  de  Blainville,  Grand  Master  of  the  Cere- 
monies, and  our  old  acquaintance  Desgranges, 
Master  of  the  Ceremonies,  and  took  a  seat  near  his 
betrothed,  who  was  still  at  her  toilette.  The  duke 
wore  a  suit  of  black  velvet,  with  a  mantle  of  the 
same,  which  was  embroidered  in  gold  and  lined 
with  cloth  of  silver,  likewise  embroidered  with  gold, 
but  of  a  very  fine  embroidery.  He  was  in  doublet 
and  open  hose,  and  covered  with  lace,  "  with  broad 

i94  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

garters,  ribbons  on  his  shoes,  and  an  aigrette  in 
his  hat."  1 

Presently  a  message  arrived  to  say  that  the 
Council  had  broken  up,  and  that  the  King  was 
awaiting  the  bride  in  the  Galerie  des  Glaces.  The 
Due  de  Bourgogne  then  gave  his  hand  to  the  prin- 
cess, whose  dress  was  "of  cloth  of  silver,  em- 
broidered in  silver,  with  a  set  of  rubies  and  pearls," 
and  she  left  her  chamber,  Dangeau,  her  chevalier 
d'honneur,  supporting  her  dress  on  one  side,  and 
Tesse  on  the  other  ;  while  an  exempt  of  the  Guards 
staggered  beneath  the  weight  of  her  enormous 

In  the  gallery  they  found  the  King  and  the 
whole  Court  assembled.  All,  men  and  women  alike, 
wore  costumes  of  the  utmost  magnificence,  and 
the  princesses  were  literally  covered  with  jewels. 
"  Never  had  splendour  of  apparel  been  carried  so 
far."  2 

1  Mercure  de  France,  December  1697. 

2  We  extract  from  the  Mercure,  which  devotes  some  fifty  pages 
to  an  account  of  the  marriage  and  the  fetes  which  followed  it,  a 
description  of  some  of  the  wedding  garments,  which  may  not  be 
without  interest  :  "  The  King  wore  a  suit  of  cloth  of  gold,  relieved 
on  the  seams  by  a  rich  and  heavy  gold  embroidery.  Monseigneur 
was  habited  in  gold  brocade,  with  gold  embroidery  on  the  seams. 
.  .  .  Monsieur's  dress  was  superb.  His  coat  was  of  black  velvet, 
with  button-holes  of  heavy  gold  embroidery  and  large  diamond 
buttons.  His  waistcoat  was  of  cloth  of  gold,  and  the  rest  of  his 
costume  of  a  like  sumptuousness.  The  Due  de  Chartres  wore  a 
suit  of  grey  velvet,  very  tastefully  embroidered,  and  enriched 
with  diamonds,  rubies,  and  emeralds.  .  .  .  The  dresses  of  Madame, 
the  Duchesse  de  Chartres,  and  Madame  la  Duchesse,  were  of  the 
most  beautiful  cloth  of  gold,  embroidered  in  gold  as  heavily  and 
richly  as  possible.  Their  coiffures  and  their  persons  were  covered 
with  all  kinds  of  jewels.  The  dress  of  Mademoiselle  [Elisabeth 
Charlotte  d'Orleans,  Monsieur's  daughter  by  his  second  marriage], 
which  aroused  universal  admiration,  was  of  green  velvet,  exquisitely 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  195 

The  procession  to  the  chapel  was  at  once 
formed.  First  came  the  bridal  pair  ;  next,  Mon- 
seigneur  and  Monsieur,  their  nearest  relatives  ; 
then  the  King,  who  was  followed,  by  his  Majesty's 
orders,  by  the  Marchese  Ferrero  della  Marmora, 
the  Ambassador  of  Savoy,  accompanied  by  the 
introducteur  of  the  Ambassadors  ;  *  then  the  prin- 
cess and  princesses,  headed  by  Madame  ;  while  the 
nobles  and  ladies  in  the  order  of  their  rank  brought 
up  the  rear.     But  let  us  listen  to  the  Mercure  : 

"  The  Court  in  this  magnificence  passed  through 
the  grand  gallery  and  the  State  apartments, 
descended  the  Grand  Staircase,  and  entered  the 
chapel.  In  all  the  apartments  the  crowd  of  spec- 
tators was  very  great,  but  in  the  chapel  they  kept 
excellent  order.  The  Due  de  Bourgogne  and  the 
Princess  of  Savoy  knelt  on  cushions  opposite  one 
another  at  the  foot  of  the  altar  steps.  The  Cardinal 
de  Coislin,  Bishop-elect  of  Metz,  first  almoner  to 
the  King,  performed  the  betrothal  ceremony,2 
which  was  followed  by  that  of  the  marriage.  In 
both  these  ceremonies  the  Due  de  Bourgogne 
turned  towards  the  King  and  Monseigneur  to  ask 
their  consent  ;  and  the  Princess  of  Savoy  did 
likewise,    and  also   turned  towards  Monsieur  and 

embroidered  in  gold,  with  a  parure  of  diamonds  and  rubies.  That 
of  Mile,  de  Conde  [Anne  Louise  de  Bourbon,  daughter  of  Monsieur 
le  Prince]  was  of  carnation-coloured  velvet,  with  gold  and  silver 
embroidery  and  many  jewels." 

1  Ferrero  to  the  Duke  of  Savoy,  December  7,  1697,  in  Gagniere. 
Ferrero's  despatch  leaves  one  in  doubt  as  to  whether  the  rest  of 
the  Diplomatic  Corps  walked  in  the  procession,  though  he  tells 
us  that  places  were  reserved  for  them  in  the  chapel. 

1  This  was  a  deviation  from  custom.  When  Princes  or  Prin- 
cesses of  the  Blood  married,  the  betrothal  ceremony  was  generally 
performed  the  evening  before  the  wedding  in  the  King's  private 

196  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

Madame  to  demand  theirs  as  well.1  The  Due  de 
Bourgogne  placed  a  ring  on  the  finger  of  the  Princess 
of  Savoy,  and  presented  her  with  thirteen  pieces 
of  gold.  Then  the  cardinal  began  the  Mass.  At 
the  Offertory,  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  and  the 
Princess  of  Savoy  went  to  the  offering,  after  having 
made  the  usual  obeisances  to  the  altar,  to  the  King, 
and  to  Monseigneur.  The  Marquis  de  Blainville 
presented  to  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  a  wax  taper 
and  ten  louis  d'or,  and  M.  des  Granges  did  the 
same  to  the  Princess  of  Savoy,  together  with  an 
equal  number  of  louis.  After  the  Mass,  the  King 
signed  the  register  of  the  parish,  and  the  Dauphin, 
the  Due  de  Bourgogne,  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne, 
the  Due  d'Anjou,  the  Due  de  Berry,  Monsieur 
and  Madame,  the  Due  and  Duchesse  de  Chartres, 
Monsieur  le  Prince  and  Madame  la  Princesse,  and 
the  other  princes  and  princesses  signed  after  him."  2 

The  procession  then  reformed  and  returned  to 
the  apartments  of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne, 
by  which  title  we  must  henceforth  speak  of  the 
Princess  Adelaide.  In  the  ante-chamber  a  large 
table  in  the  form  of  a  horse-shoe  had  been  arranged, 
at  which  the  King,  the  bridal  pair,  and  all  the 
princes  and  princesses,  to  the  number  of  twenty-one, 
dined,  the  guests  including  the  Due  du  Maine  and 
the  Comte  de  Toulouse,  "  who,  up  to  the  present, 
had  not  enjoyed  this  honour"3  and  the  Duchesse 
de  Verneuil,  widow  of  Henri  de  Bourbon,  Henri  iv's 

1  "  When  the  moment  arrived  to  say  '  Yes,'  the  ftancSe  made 
four  reverences,  and  the  fiance  two,  since  he  asked  the  consent 
of  his  father  and  grandfather  only ;  while  the  fiancee  asked  the 
consent  of  Monsieur  and  myself  also  as  grandparents."  Letter  of 
Madame  to  the  Electress  of  Hanover. 

2  Mercure. 

3  Ferrero  to  the  Duke  of  Savoy,  December  y,  1697. 


(?/;i.\-   .1.1    C/nu.r    ,/<•    Louis     /•    (?/:///./ 
<i  evi*iue    an  /suite     Cowijiieriiiitl 
i)m  m'e/ei't    .in    i/estin    ./>'  .1".;    'mitte  Jltti/i <ntcc 

man    outlet    •  '   purrttje-     i<i   difarrae  aiuc   Cn/zs-s 
Ct  tumnerii    ois-ntvt   «/v    princes    .1  Ai  fr-ance 
i/ui    Cnarmeront     t.'ttt-    {  IZrutroxf 
Hun'  im  11  u  i  i'hjii  iiiui  inrrm 

[nvniTi|ll]ni!"l|:"l'ilimmw*f""-"*g*'"" »'■■ 



A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  197 

son  by  Henriette  d'Entragues.1  "  So  that,"  observes 
Saint-Simon,  "  M.  de  Verneuil  became  thus  '  Prince 
of  the  Blood/  so  many  years  after  his  death,  without 
having  suspected  it."  2 

During  dinner,  it  was  remarked  that  the  Due 
de  Bourgogne  cast  many  affectionate  glances  in 
the  direction  of  his  bride.  "  I  see  my  brother 
ogling  his  little  wife,"  whispered  the  Due  de  Berry 
to  Madame,  who  sat  next  him.  "  But,  if  I  wished, 
I  could  ogle  quite  as  well;  you  have  to  look 
steadily,  sideways."  Saying  which,  he  proceeded 
to  imitate  his  brother  in  so  droll  a  manner,  that 
Madame  was  quite  unable  to  restrain  her  merriment. 

Upon  leaving  table,  the  company  returned  to 
the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne's  bedchamber,  where 
the  King  remained  a  few  minutes  and  then  retired 
to  his  own  apartments.  The  Due  de  Bourgogne 
and  the  other  princes  also  withdrew,  and  the 
duchess  was  able  to  lay  aside  her  heavy  bridal 
robes  and  rest  for  a  couple  of  hours.  At  six  o'clock, 
however,  she  was  compelled  to  don  them  again,  in 
order  to  receive  the  Ambassador  of  Savoy,  who 
came  to  compliment  her  on  her  marriage,  and 
present  to  her  several  Italian  nobles,  who  had 
come  to  assist  at  the  ceremony  and  the  fetes.  At 
a  quarter  past  seven,  followed  by  a  number  of 
ladies,  she  repaired  to  the  King's  apartments, 
where  Louis  xiv  was  awaiting  her,  to  receive 
James  11  and  his  consort.  Upon  their  Majesties' 
arrival,  the  whole  Court  moved  off  to  the  gallery 
to  see  the  fireworks,  which  had  been  prepared  at 
the  end  of  the  Swiss  lake. 

1  Ferrero  to  the  Duke  of  Savoy,  December  8,  1697. 
:  Mctnoires. 

iq8  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

"  Then,  in  the  grand  gallery,  illuminated  by 
lustres,1  which  shed  their  dazzling  light  on  the  robes 
of  the  ladies  and  the  costumes  laced  with  gold 
and  silver  embroidery  and  covered  with  precious 
stones,  appeared  the  King,  holding  by  the  hand 
the  Queen  of  England,  who,  together  with  the 
King  of  England,  he  conducted  to  the  windows 
overlooking  the  garden,  where,  in  the  midst  of 
that  great  sheet  of  water,  there  burst  forth  the 
most  magnificent  display  of  fireworks  that  had 
ever  been  seen."  2 

After  this  spectacle,  the  effect  of  which  was 
somewhat  marred  by  the  wind  and  rain  which 
prevailed,  the  Court  proceeded  to  the  Duchesse 
de  Bourgogne's  bedchamber  to  view  the  nuptial 
couch — a  veritable  chef-d'oeuvre  of  the  upholsterer's 
art,  with  a  counterpane  of  green  velvet,  em- 
broidered in  gold  and  silver — and  the  princess's 
toilette-set,  which  was  laid  out  in  an  adjoining 
room,  and  was  ('  much  admired,  both  for  its  articles 
of  gold  and  silver  and  for  its  embroidery  and  lace." 

Supper  was  then  served,  in  the  ante-chamber, 
to  the  King  and  the  same  persons  who  had  had 
the  honour  of  dining  with  him,  with  the  addition 
of  the  ex-King  and  Queen  of  England.  During 
the  meal,  the  Due  de  Bourgogne's  toilette-set 
was  laid  out  in  the  duchess's  grand  cabinet,  and 
aroused  almost  as  much  admiration  as  had  that  of 
his  wife. 

1  "  The  gallery  was  lighted  by  three  lines  of  lustres  and  a  great 
number  of  candelabra." — Mercure. 

2  Despatch  of  the  Venetian  Ambassador,  Nicolo  Erizzo,  to  the 
Doge,  December  13,  1697,  in  Gagniere.  "Everything  was  so 
arranged  as  to  form  arches  of  fire  over  the  water,  at  the  sides  of 
which  an  immense  number  of  lamps  in  earthen  pots  made  a 
parterre  of  light." — Mercure. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  199 

The  time  had  now  arrived  for  the  pretended 
consummation  of  the  marriage,  without  which  the 
union  would  not  have  been  considered  binding. 
But  this  singular  ceremony  we  will  permit  the 
Mercure  to  describe  for  us  : 

"  After  the  supper,  the  Grand  Master  of  the 
Ceremonies  [Blainville]  and  the  Master  of  the 
Ceremonies  [Desgranges]  went  to  summon  the 
Cardinal  de  Coislin,  who  was  to  pronounce  the 
benediction  of  the  bed.  The  Due  de  Bourgogne 
undressed  in  the  cabinet  in  which  his  toilette-set 
had  been  placed,  and,  at  the  same  time,  the 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  was  undressed  and  knelt 
down  at  her  prie-dieu,  as  soon  as  they  had  made 
all  persons  leave  her  bedchamber  who  had  not  the 
right  to  remain.  The  King  of  England  [James  11] 
handed  the  shirt  to  the  Due  de  Bourgogne,  and 
the  Queen  of  England  the  nightdress  to  the 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne,  who  gave  her  garters 
and  her  nightcap  to  Mademoiselle.  So  soon  as 
the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  was  in  bed,  the  King 
sent  to  summon  the  Due  de  Bourgogne,  who 
entered  the  room  in  his  dressing-gown,  with  his 
nightcap  in  his  hand,  and  his  hair  tied  behind 
with  a  flame-coloured  ribbon,  and  placed  him- 
self in  bed  on  the  right  side.  The  curtains  at 
the  foot  of  the  bed  were  closed,  but  those  at  the 
sides  remained  half-open.  The  King  and  the 
King  and  Queen  of  England  withdrew,  but 
Monsieur  remained  in  the  bedchamber.  A  mo- 
ment later,  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  rose,  passed 
into  the  grand  cabinet,  where  he  dressed  again, 
and  returned  to  his  own  apartments  to  sleep.' 

"  1 

1  "  The  Due  de  Bourgogne  rose  at  the  end  of  a  quarter  of  an 
hour.  .  .  .  The  Duchesse  du  Lude  and  all  the  Duchesse  de 
Bourgogne's  ladies  remained  around   the  bed.  .  .  .  The  Due  de 

200  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

Both  Saint-Simon  and  the  Venetian  Ambassador 
relate  an  amusing  incident,  mentioned  neither 
in  the  semi-official  account  given  by  the  Mercure, 
nor  in  the  discreet  pages  of  Dangeau,  which  took 
place  before  the  young  couple  parted  for  the  night. 
We  give  the  preference  to  Erizzo's  version,  which, 
though  less  piquant,  is  probably  the  more  accu- 

"  The  Most  Christian  King  and  his  Britannic 
Majesty,  and  the  greater  part  of  those  who  had 
been  invited  having  retired,  the  Dauphin,  by 
dint  of  affectionate  encouragements,  persuaded 
his  son  to  approach  his  spouse  and  embrace  her. 
The  pious  and  austere  Due  de  Beauvilliers,  his 
gouverneur,  objected  strongly  to  this,  reminding 
them  of  the  King's  stringent  orders  to  the  con- 
trary.1 But  the  Due  de  Bourgogne,  on  this  occa- 
sion, preferred  to  obey  his  father  rather  than  the 
other,  and  called  the  princess,  who  ran  forward, 
threw  herself  into  his  arms,  and  gave  immense 
proofs  of  her  satisfaction.  But,  the  first  embraces 
exchanged,  they  will  not  find  themselves  together 
again  until  after  the  expiration  of  the  two  years 
necessary  to  reach  the  age  of  maturity."  2 

The  following  evening,  the  Duchesse  de  Bour- 
gogne, wearing  a  dress  of  red  velvet,  embroidered 
in  gold,  and  a  set  of  diamonds,  held  a  cercle  in 
her  grand  cabinet,  which  was  attended  by  nearly  all 
the  princesses  and  duchesses,  magnificently  attired.3 

Beauvilliers,  gouverneur  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne,  remained  in  the 
ruelle  of  the  bed  all  the  time  that  he  was  with  the  Duchesse  de 
Bourgogne." — Dangeau,  Journal,  December  7,  1697. 

1  Saint-Simon  says  that  it  was  the  Duchesse  du  Lude,  and  not 
Beauvilliers,  who  objected. 

2  Erizzo  to  the  Doge,  December  13,  1697.  3  Mercure. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  201 

On  the  9th,  the  young  lady  went  to  receive 
the  felicitations  of  her  friends  at  Saint-Cyr.  "  She 
was  all  in  white,  and  her  gown  was  so  heavily  em- 
broidered with  silver  that  she  was  scarcely  able 
to  support  it."  However,  she  seems  to  have 
enjoyed  herself.  On  her  arrival,  she  was  received 
with  great  pomp,  and  conducted  to  the  church, 
where  the  Te  Deum  was  sung  ;  while  afterwards 
a  choir  composed  on  the  plan  of  the  choruses  in 
Esther,  recited  verses  in  her  honour,  written  by 
the  dames.1 

On  the  10th,  the  prince,  who  was  in  after  years 
to  be  known  as  the  "  Old  Pretender,"  and  his 
sister,  came  to  Versailles  to  offer  her  their  con- 
gratulations, and  in  the  evening  she  and  the  Due 
de  Bourgogne  supped  with  Madame  de  Maintenon 
in  that  lady's  apartments  ;  while,  on  the  nth, 
the  first  of  the  two  grand  balls  which  it  had  been 
arranged  to  give  took  place  in  the  gallery,  and 
is  described  by  the  Mercure  as  the  "  largest  and 
most  magnificent  that  had  ever  been  seen  at  Court." 
But  let  us  listen  to  the  impressions  of  the  Venetian 
Ambassador,  amplified  by  a  few  details  from  the 
above-mentioned  journal. 

"  The  grand  gallery  was  illuminated  by  more 
than  five  thousand  candles,  and  between  the 
reflections  from  the  mirrors  and  the  diamonds,  this 
place  was  rendered  brighter  than  if  it  had  been 
lighted  by  the  rays  of  the  sun,  when,  on  a  sudden, 
the  Due  de  Bourgogne,  wearing  a  costume  starred 
with  gems,2  gave  the  signal  for  the  grand  dance."  3 

1  Lavallee,  Histoire  de  la  maison  royale  de  Saint-Cyr. 

2  "  The  Due  de  Bourgogne's  coat  was  of  black  velvet,   with 
many  diamonds." — Mercure. 

3  The  branle,  which  the  Duke  opened  with  his  wife. 

202  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

"  In  this  dance,  in  which  beauty  and  magnificence 
showed  to  advantage,  the  eye  and  the  mind  ex- 
perienced enchantments  such  as  the  blessed  can 
scarcely  conceive.  The  princes  and  the  nobles 
were  in  gala  costume,  the  princess  and  the  ladies 
wore  the  most  sumptuous  gowns  that  had  ever 
been  seen.1  Part  of  their  hair  fell  in  long  curls, 
and  the  other  part  was  confined  by  sparkling  gems. 

"  The  cost  of  the  least  sumptuous  of  these  vest- 
ments was  computed  at  twelve  thousand  livres, 
and  the  most  sumptuous  at  thirty  thousand  livres, 
not  including  the  precious  stones,  which  were 
numberless  and  priceless. 

"  At  that  hour  the  grandeur  and  brio  of  France 
was  made  manifest,  and  one  understood  how 
poor  and  miserable  are  the  attempts  of  other 
countries  to  imitate  it.  The  presence  of  the  King 
gave  lustre,  and,  at  the  same  time,  imposed  a 
restraining  influence  on  the  fSte,  in  which  the 
silence  and  constraint  were  so  great,  that  one 
would  have  imagined  oneself  in  the  midst  of  a 
Senate  of  grave  men  rather  than  in  a  ball-room. 

"The  dancing  was  followed  by  the  collation, 
which  was  brought  in  by  a  hundred  lackeys ;  and 
the  ball-room  was  so  skilfully  arranged,  that  in  a 
moment  it  was  transformed  into  a  garden  covered 
with  flowers,  fruit,  and  sweetmeats."  2 

And  Erizzo  adds : 

"  In  the  midst  of  so  much  joy  fulness,  one  saw 

1  "  The  dress  of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  was  of  cloth  of 
gold,  with  a  trimming  of  diamonds,  in  which,  as  in  her  head-dress, 
were  the  most  beautiful  of  the  Crown  diamonds.  All  the  ladies 
at  the  ball  were  in  cloths  of  gold  or  silver,  or  in  velvets  of  all 
colours,  and  covered  with  jewels." — Mercuve. 

2  "  At  eight  o'clock,  the  King  called  for  the  collation,  which 
was  brought  in  on  twelve  tables,  covered  with  moss  and  verdure, 
instead  of  table-cloths.  When  all  together,  they  formed  a  fragrant 
parterre,  in  which  were  four  orange-trees." — Mercure. 

A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY  203 

tears  flowing  from  the  eyes  of  the  King  and  Queen 
of  England,  unhappy  spectators  of  this  great  ball."  1 

The  second  ball  was  given  three  nights  later 
(December  14).  It  was  equally  magnificent,  and 
more  enjoyable  than  the  one  which  had  preceded 
it,  on  which  occasion  the  crowd  of  spectators  had 
been  so  great  as  to  cause  serious  inconvenience  to 
the  dancers.  The  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  wore 
that  evening  "  a  dress  of  black  velvet  all  covered 
with  diamonds  ;  her  hair  was  braided  with  pearls, 
and  the  rest  of  her  coiffure  was  so  full  of  diamonds, 
that  one  might  say  without  exaggeration  that  the 
eye  could  scarcely  endure  such  dazzling  splendour."  2 
The  little  princess's  dancing  was  much  admired, 
particularly  in  the  minuet. 

The  fetes  nominally  concluded  on  the  17th, 
with  the  performance  of  the  opera  of  Apollon  et 
Isse,  "  an  heroic  pastoral  in  three  acts,"  the  music 
of  which  had  been  composed  by  Destouches,  in  the 
theatre  of  Trianon  ;  but,  as  a  matter  of  fact,  un- 
official rejoicings  continued  for  some  days  longer. 

1  Erizzo  to  the  Doge,  December  13,  1697. 

2  Mercure  de  France,  December  1697. 


Relations  of  the  Due  and  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  to  one 
another  after  their  marriage — Studious  habits  of  the  duke — The 
princess  begins  to  hold  receptions — Efforts  of  social  aspirants  to  take 
advantage  of  her  inexperience — Removal  of  the  restrictions  hither- 
to imposed  on  her  choice  of  amusements — She  assists  at  a  per- 
formance of  the  Bourgeois  gentilhomme — Her  visit  to  the  Fair 
of  Saint-Laurent — Her  passion  for  dancing — She  is  encouraged 
to  play  cards — Pleasure  which  Louis  xiv  finds  in  her  society 
— Her  letters  to  Madame  Royale — A  water-party  at  Trianon — 
Consequences  of  the  King  and  Madame  de  Maintenon's  foolish 
indulgence  of  the  little  princess — Her  conduct  severely  criticised 
by  Madame — A  welcome  improvement — The  review  at  Compiegne 
— Consummation  of  the  marriage  of  the  Due  and  Duchesse  de 

THE  marriage  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  and 
the  Princess  Adelaide  made  little  immediate 
difference  in  their  relations  to  one  another, 
and  they  continued  to  lead  a  separate  existence, 
the  one  under  the  charge  of  the  Due  de  Beau- 
villiers,  the  other  under  that  of  the  Duchesse  du 
Lude.  However,  as  Louis  xiv  considered  that  it 
would  be  unreasonable,  now  that  they  were 
husband  and  wife,  to  restrict  their  intercourse  to 
the  weekly  meeting  which  had  been  the  rule  since 
the  princess's  arrival  in  France,  the  Due  de  Bour- 
gogne was  permitted  to  see  her  every  day,  and 
to  talk  to  her  without  restraint,  provided  that  one 
of  the  Duchess's  ladies  always  remained  in  the  room.1 

1  If  we  are  to  believe  the  unknown  correspondent  of  Madame 

Dunoyer,  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  rebelled  against  these  restrictions  ; 


A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  205 

Although  nominally  a  married  man,  the  young 
prince  continued  in  statu  pupillari,  studying  as 
diligently  as  ever  to  fit  himself  for  the  great 
position  which,  unhappily  for  France,  he  was 
destined  never  to  occupy.  His  favourite  study 
at  this  period  was  political  philosophy,  and  he 
read  and  analysed  with  great  care  the  Republic 
of  Plato,  while,  "  since  he  was  persuaded  that 
justice  is  the  basis  of  true  policy,  he  made  himself 
acquainted  with  the  principles  of  Roman  and 
French  jurisprudence."  1 

Highly  pleased  with  his  grandson's  industry, 
Louis  xiv  determined  to  give  him  practical  lessons 
in  the  art  of  government,  and  accordingly  directed 
the  intendants  throughout  the  kingdom  to  furnish 
detailed  reports  concerning  the  districts  within 
their  jurisdiction — their  manufactures,  agricultural 
products,  roads,  canals,  ports,  and  so  forth.  The 
digestion  of  so  stupendous  a  mass  of  statistics 
would  have  constituted  a  formidable  undertaking 
for  even  the  trained  mind  of  a  statesman  ;   but  the 

and  one  fine  night,  with  the  connivance  of  a  complaisant  waiting- 
woman  of  the  princess,  concealed  himself  in  her  chamber,  and,  so 
soon  as  he  believed  that  the  Duchesse  du  Lude,  who  occupied  the 
same  room  as  her  mistress,  was  asleep,  emerged  from  his  hiding- 
place.  But  scarcely  had  he  done  so,  when  the  dame  d'honnear,  who 
apparently  slept  with  one  eye  open,  precipitated  herself  upon  the 
intruder  and  promptly  ejected  him  from  the  room.  The  writer 
adds  that,  next  morning,  Madame  du  Lude  complained  to  the  King, 
who  sent  for  his  grandson  and  drily  observed  :  "I  have  ascertained, 
Monsieur,  that  something  has  happened  which  might  be  injurious 
to  your  health;  I  must  beg  you  not  to  let  it  occur  again" — Lettres 
historiques  et  galantes.  The  writer's  weakness  for  the  picturesque, 
however,  renders  the  authenticity  of  this  anecdote  open  to  suspicion. 
1  "  Pere  Martineau,  Recueil  des  vertus  du  due  de  Bourgogne,  et 
ensuite  dauphin,  pour  sevvir  tl  I 'education  d'un  grand  prince" ; — 
Haussonville,  la  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  et  V Alliance  savoy arde  sous 
Louis  xiv. 

206  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

knowledge  of  the  resources  of  the  country  subse- 
quently shown  by  the  young  prince  proves  that 
he  had  grappled  with  it  with  remarkable  success, 
and  that  he  must  have  been  endowed,  not  only 
with  unwearying  industry  and  a  veritable  passion 
for  details,  but  an  astonishing  memory. 

While  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  was  employed 
in  analysing  Plato  and  Justinian,  and  digesting 
statistics,  his  wife  had  taken  her  place  in  the 
official  life  of  the  Court.  She  now  held  a  cercle 
of  her  own,  newcomers  to  the  Court  were  presented 
to  her,  and  the  Ambassadors  received  in  public 
audience.  That  she  would  very  willingly  have 
dispensed  with  the  right  of  holding  these  formal 
receptions  is  more  than  probable,  since  in  an  age 
and  in  a  society  which  attached  such  extraordinary 
importance  to  the  minutiae  of  etiquette,  she  was 
constantly  required  to  be  on  her  guard  against  the 
commission  of  some  error  which  might  enable 
aspiring  persons,  who  were  only  too  ready  to  take 
advantage  of  the  youth  and  inexperience  of  the 
first  lady  in  the  land,  \  to  lay  claim  to  privileges  to 
which  they  were  not  entitled. 

Nevertheless,  she  appears  to  have  emerged 
from  these  decidedly  trying  ordeals  with  much 
credit,  though,  on  two  or  three  occasions,  her 
ignorance  or  timidity  might  have  entailed  very 
serious  consequences,  from  the  hierarchical  point 
of  view.  Thus,  at  the  reception  of  Madame  van 
Heemskirke,  the  wife  of  the  Dutch  Ambassador, 
she  conferred  the  cousinly  kiss,  not  only  on  the 
Ambassadress,  but  on  that  lady's  daughter  as  well ; 
while,  at  another  reception,  she  permitted,  without 
a  word  of  protest,   the  haughty  and  enterprising 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  207 

Princesse  d'Harcourt,  who,  in  virtue  of  her  con- 
nection with  the  House  of  Lorraine,  claimed  prece- 
dence over  the  wives  of  all  the  dukes  not  of  the  Royal 
Blood,  to  deprive  Madame  de  Rohan  by  force  of  her 
place  at  the  head  of  the  duchesses.  Both  ladies 
felicitated  themselves  on  having  established  their 
respective  claims  to  the  privileges  they  coveted. 
But,  in  the  first  instance,  Madame,  the  second 
lady  of  the  Court,  firmly  refused  to  consider  the 
example  of  an  inexperienced  child  binding  upon 
her,  and  speedily  dissipated  the  fond  illusion  of  the 
Ambassador's  daughter  ;  while,  in  the  second,  the 
King  himself  intervened,  ordered  the  Princesse 
d'Harcourt  to  tender  a  public  apology  to  the 
Duchesse  de  Rohan,  and  pronounced  against  her 

However,  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  found 
abundant  compensations  for  such  little  mortifica- 
tions in  the  gradual  removal  of  the  restrictions 
hitherto  imposed  on  her  choice  of  pleasures.  On 
October  30,  1698,  she  was  permitted  to  go  to  the 
play  for  the  first  time,  as  were  the  Due  de  Bour- 
gogne and  his  brothers  ;  and,  in  company  with 
them,  witnessed  a  performance  of  the  Bourgeois 
gentilhomme  at  the  Comedie-Francaise,  on  which 
occasion  the  delight  of  the  young  people  must 
have  afforded  the  audience  almost  as  much  diver- 
sion as  the  antics  of  the  immortal  M.  Jourdain. 
"  The  Due  de  Bourgogne,"  writes  Madame, 
"  quite  lost  his  gravity,  and  laughed  till  the  tears 
came  into  his  eyes;  the  Due  d'Anjou  was  so  de- 
lighted that  he  sat  in  ecstasies,  with  his  mouth 
wide  open  ;    the  Due  de  Berry  laughed  so  much 

1  Saint-Simon,  Memoires. 

208  A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

that  he  nearly  fell  off  his  chair.  The  Duchesse  de 
Bourgogne,  who  understands  better  how  to  dis- 
guise her  feelings,  controlled  herself  very  well  at 
the  beginning,  laughed  but  little,  and  contented 
herself  with  smiling  ;  but  now  and  then  she  forgot 
herself,  and  rose  from  her  chair  in  order  to  see 
better.  She  was  also  very  amusing  in  her  way."  * 
Two  months  later,  we  hear  of  the  princess  gracing 
with  her  presence  a  performance  of  Bajazet — 
though,  unfortunately,  we  are  not  told  what 
impression  this  tragedy  made  upon  her;  and 
Dangeau  announces  that  the  King  had  given  her 
permission  to  visit  the  "  Comedie  "  whenever  she 

The  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne's  expeditions  to 
Paris,  however,  were  not  confined  to  the  occasions 
when  she  visited  the  Comedie-Francaise  or  the 
Opera,  which  she  attended  for  the  first  time  on 
January  28,  1699,  under  the  escort  of  the  Dauphin. 
She  went  there  pretty  frequently  to  inspect  the 
latest  modes ;  for,  young  as  she  was,  she  was  already 
beginning  to  appreciate  the  important  part  which 
the  toilette  and  its  accessories  played  in  the  life  of 
a  lady  of  rank.  But,  since  she  loved  amusements 
of  all  kinds,  the  days  generally  selected  for  her 
visits  were  those  of  some  popular  fete,  when  the 
great  city  wore  its  gayest  aspect.  Thus,  in  August 
1698,  escorted  by  Tesse  and  accompanied  by  a 
number  of  ladies  of  the  Court,  she  drove  to  the 
Fair  of  Saint-Laurent,  in  a  magnificent  coach 
drawn  by  eight  horses.     On  arriving  at  the  fair, 

1  Correspondance  de  Madame,  Duchesse  d'Orleans  (edit.  Jaegle), 
Letter  of  November  i,  1698,  to  the  Electress  of  Hanover. 

2  Dangeau,  Journal,  December  28,  1698. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  209 

which  was  held  outside  the  Porte  Saint-Denis,  she 
alighted  from  her  coach  and  mingled  with  the 
people,  who  all  applauded  her  charm  and  her 
gracious  manners,  and  were  lost  in  admiration 
at  the  magnificence  of  her  attire,  which  consisted 
of  "  un  habit  gris  de  lis  en  falbala,  trimmed  with 
silver -lace,  diamonds,  and  emeralds."  First 
she  went  to  see  the  tight-rope  dancers  and  the 
marionettes,  whose  performances  were  always  one 
of  the  principal  attractions  of  the  famous  fair,  and 
was  so  pleased  with  their  skill  that  she  presented 
them  with  a  handsome  donation.  Then  she  made 
the  round  of  the  principal  shops,  including  that  of 
a  jeweller,  who,  in  anticipation  of  her  visit,  had  pre- 
pared for  her  a  most  sumptuous  collation,  and  made 
numerous  purchases,  which  she  subsequently  distri- 
buted among  the  ladies  who  had  accompanied  her. 
She  remained  at  the  fair  until  nearly  seven  o'clock, 
when,  after  leaving  a  considerable  sum  of  money 
for  distribution  among  the  poor  of  Paris,  she  re- 
entered her  coach  and  returned  to  Versailles  by  a 
circuitous  route,  which  enabled  her  to  make  the 
acquaintance  of  the  Place  Royale,  the  Rue  Saint- 
Antoine,  the  Place  de  Greve,  the  quays,  and  the 

The  interdict  which  had  been  placed  on  her 
attendance  at  balls  was  also  removed,  and,  since 
she  was  passionately  fond  of  dancing,  this  diversion, 
which  had  been  for  some  time  past  out  of  fashion, 
became  once  more  the  mode,  and  all  the  principal 
personages  of  the  Court  desired  to  give  a  ball  or  a 
masquerade  in  honour  of  the  princess.  Several 
of  these  entertainments  were  very  splendid  affairs 

1  Mercure  de  France,  August  1698. 

210  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

indeed,  particularly  the  masquerades  given  by  the 
King  at  Marly,  in  February  1698,  at  which,  we  are 
told,  many  of  the  dancers  disguised  themselves  four 
or  five  times  every  evening,  and  where  "  nothing 
was  lacking  which  might  please  the  eye,  flatter 
the  ear,  and  satisfy  the  taste."  * 

Among  the  balls  given  by  members  of  the 
Court,  one  of  the  most  magnificent  was  that  of 
Madame  de  Pontchartrain,  the  wife  of  the  Chan- 
cellor, in  connection  with  which  the  Lettres  histori- 
ques  et  galantes  relate  an  amusing  anecdote  : 

"  On  the  morning  of  the  day  on  which  Madame 
la  Chanceliere  gave  her  ball  to  the  Duchesse  de 
Bourgogne,  the  princess  sent  a  coach  drawn  by 
six  horses  to  the  Professionist  Monastery  to  fetch 
Pere  Le  Comte  [her  confessor].  On  his  arrival, 
the  Jesuit,  greatly  surprised  at  this  summons, 
inquired  '  if  it  were  her  wish  to  confess  at  so 
unseasonable  an  hour.'  To  which  the  princess 
replied  :  '  No,  Father  ;  I  did  not  send  for  you  to 
shrive  me,  but  to  design  for  me  as  quickly  as 
possible  a  Chinese  lady's  costume.  I  know  that  you 
have  lived  in  China,  and  I  want  to  wear  the  dress  of 
that  country  at  the  ball  this  evening.'  The  confessor 
frankly  avowed  that  he  had  had  more  to  do  with  the 
men  of  China  than  with  the  women.  Nevertheless, 
she  insisted  on  his  sketching  her  a  design,  after  which 
she  dismissed  him,  and  set  people  to  work  upon 
her  costume."2 

The  King  and  Madame  de  Maintenon  would 
certainly  have  been  well-advised  if  they  had  con- 
tinued their  prohibition  of  cards  and  similar  diver- 
sions for  some  years  longer.     But  play  was  so  popular 

1  Mercure  de  France,  February  1698. 

2  Madame  Dunoyer,  Lettres  historiques  et  galantes,  Lettre  xxi. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  211 

an  amusement  at  Court,  that  their  complaisance  in 
this  matter,  though  very  regrettable,  is  not  difficult 
to  understand,  since  to  deny  the  little  lady  permis- 
sion to  worship  at  the  shrine  of  Fortune  would  have 
been  to  condemn  her  to  spend  many  a  dull  evening. 
What,  however,  is  surprising,  is  that,  so  far  from 
counselling  moderation  in  the  pursuit  of  this 
insidious  pastime,  Louis  xiv  actually  appears  to  have 
encouraged  a  taste  for  play  in  the  child,  organising 
games  of  chance  and  raffles  for  her  in  Madame  de 
Maintenon's  apartments,  taking  her  with  him  to 
watch  the  gambling  orgies  which  went  on  in  the 
Princesse  de  Conti's,  and  even  now  and  again 
permitting  her  to  take  a  hand  at  lansquenet,  at  this 
period  the  most  popular  medium  for  speculation. 
The  consequence  was  that  the  little  princess  soon 
began  to  develop  a  passion  for  play,  which  was  to 
bring  upon  her  serious  embarrassments  and  much 
unhappiness ;  but  of  this  we  shall  have  occasion  to 
speak  later  on. 

Deplorable  as  such  imprudence  on  the  part  of 
Louis  xiv  may  seem,  it  no  doubt  proceeded  from 
his  inability  to  deny  any  pleasure  to  the  child 
who  had  so  completely  conquered  his  heart,  and 
in  whose  company  he  seemed  to  renew  his  youth, 
and  to  experience  sentiments  to  which  he  had  been 
for  too  many  years  a  stranger.  "  The  King,"  writes 
Sourches,  "  entertains  for  her  all  the  affection  and 
all  the  kindness  which  it  is  possible  to  conceive." 
He  never  allowed  a  day  to  pass  without  seeing  her. 
If  he  remained  in  bed,  because  he  was  unwell  or  had 
"  taken  medicine,"  he  sent  for  her  to  come  to  his 
room.  If,  on  the  other  hand,  the  princess  was  con- 
fined to  her  apartments,  which  happened  occasionally, 

2  12  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

as  most  of  her  teeth  were  decayed,  and  she  suffered 
much  from  toothache,  his  Majesty  always  came  to 
see  her.  Every  day,  she  either  walked  or  drove  with 
him ;  and  when  he  followed  the  chase,  almost  in- 
variably occupied  the  second  place  in  his  soufflet, 
wearing  a  hunting  costume  of  red  velvet  trimmed 
with  gold  lace  and  a  plumed  hat,  which  every 
one  declared  suited  her  to  perfection. 

Since,  however,  Louis  xiv  did  not  hunt  so 
frequently  as  in  his  younger  days,  and  walks  and 
drives  were  somewhat  monotonous  occupations 
for  a  young  girl,  the  King  frequently  spent  the 
afternoon  in  giving  the  princess  lessons  in  pall- 
mall,  at  which  ancient  game  he  was  an  expert  per- 
former. Pall-mall  had  been  for  some  years  rather 
neglected;  but  no  sooner  was  his  Majesty  and 
the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  seen  playing  it,  than 
its  vogue  revived  with  quite  extraordinary  rapidity  ; 
and  we  find  Monseigneur,  when  he  proposed 
spending  a  few  days  at  Meudon,  inviting  none 
but  votaries  of  the  game  to  accompany  him. 

The  little  princess  would  certainly  have  been 
hard  to  please  if  she  had  not  been  happy  when 
so  many  pains  were  taken  to  keep  her  amused; 
and  the  brief  letters  which  she  wrote  during  the 
two  years  which  followed  her  marriage  to  Madame 
Royale  show  that  she  was  enchanted  with  her 
new  life,  and  far  from  insensible  to  all  the  kind- 
ness and  attention  of  which  she  was  the  object. 
A  selection  from  these  letters  x  may  not  be  without 
interest  to  the  reader  : 

1  These  letters  have  been  published  by  the  Contessa  della  Rocca, 
in  her  Correspondance  inedite  de  la  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  et  de  la 
Reine  d'Espagne  (Paris,  1 864),  and  by  M.  Gagniere,  in  Ins  Marie 
Adelaide  de  Savoie,  Lettres  et  Correspondances  (Paris,  1897). 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  213 

"  Versailles.  13  February  1698 
"  I  hope,  my  dear  grandmamma,  that  the  Marquis 
de  Cirie *  will  tell  you  agreeable  things  of  this 
country,  and  particularly  of  myself,  who  have  a 
great  desire  to  please  you.  I  envy  the  pleasure 
that  he  will  have  in  giving  you  an  account  of  every- 
thing ;  you  will  have  no  difficulty  in  understanding 
how  happy  I  am.  My  only  desire  is  that  it  will 
long  continue,  and  you  have  enough  affection  for 
me  to  interest  yourself  therein." 

"  [February  1698] 
"  If  I  were  able  to  amuse  you  by  my  letters, 
my  dear  grandmamma,  you  would  receive  them 
more  often  ;  but  I  am  afraid  of  wearying  you  by 
constantly  assuring  you  of  my  affection,  about  which 
you  can  entertain  no  doubt.  I  know  that  a  thou- 
sand ladies  send  you  news  of  me,  and  you  know  better 
than  myself  what  happens  here.  It  only  remains 
for  me  to  tell  you  that  I  appreciate  all  my  happiness, 
and  that  I  love  you  tenderly." 

"  28  February  1698 
"  I  hope  to  remedy,  when  I  have  learned  how  to 
write,  the  faults,  which  I  now  commit,  and  to 
make  you  understand  then,  my  dear  grandmamma, 
that  I  write  to  you  seldom,  because  I  write  very 
badly,  but  that  I  do  not  love  you  less  tenderly. 
I  am  going  to  the  ball." 

"  2  July  [1698] 
"  They    are    working  on  my  menagerie.2     The 
King    has    ordered    Mansart 3    to    spare    nothing. 
Imagine,  my  dear  grandmamma,  what  it  will  be. 

1  The  Marquise  de  Cirie,  a  member  of  the  House  of  Doria,  had 
been  sent  by  the  Duke  of  Savoy  to  compliment  Louis  xiv  on  the 

2  She  means,  of  course,  the  Chateau  of  the  Menagerie,  in  which 
various  alterations  were  being  carried  out. 

3  Jules  Hardouin  Mansart,  the  famous  architect. 

214  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

But  I  shall  not  see  it  until  my  return  from  Fon- 
tainebleau.  It  is  true  that  the  King's  kindnesses 
to  me  are  wonderful ;  but  I  love  him  well  also. 
I  have  made  him  your  compliments,  and  he  orders 
me  to  make  them  to  you  on  his  behalf.  Love  me 
always,  my  dear  grandmother  ;  I  shall  treat  you 
the  same."  * 

"Versailles,  [September]  1698 
'■  Those  who  love  me  as  you  do,  my  dear  grand- 
mamma, have  every  reason  to  rejoice  with  me  at 
the  King's  kindness,  for  he  gives  me  every  day 
fresh  proofs  of  it.  I  have  reason  to  hope  that  it 
will  increase.  At  any  rate,  I  shall  forget  nothing 
on  my  part  to  deserve  it.  I  am  going  to  try  a 
new  pleasure — that  of  travelling.  But  I  shall 
love  you  everywhere,  my  dear  grandmamma. 


"  Fontainebleau,  31  October  1698 
"  The  stay  at  Fontainebleau  is  very  agreeable  to 
me,  particularly  as  it  is  the  second  place  where  I 
had  the  honour  of  seeing  the  King  ;  and  I  hope 
one  thing,  my  dear  grandmamma,  which  is  that 
I  shall  be  happy,  not  only  at  Fontainebleau,  but 
everywhere,  being  resolved  to  do  everything  that 
depends  on  me  to  be  so." 


"  Versailles,  16  December  1698 
I  do  not  dare  to  tell  you,  my  dear  grandmamma, 
that  I  could  not  have  the  pleasure  of  writing  to 
you  sooner,  because  I  have  very  little  time  to 
myself.  I  am  shown  every  day  something  new 
and  beautiful.  The  King  continues  his  kindness 
to  me,  and  I  am  very  happy.  I  beg  you,  my 
dear  grandmamma,  to  love  me  always,  and  to  be 
assured  of  my  respect  for  you." 

1 M.  Gagniere  considers  this  letter  "  too  well  expressed  for 
us  to  doubt  for  a  moment  that  it  was  dictated  by  Madame  de 
Maintenon."  He  places  it  among  the  letters  of  1699,  although 
it  undoubtedly  belongs  to  the  previous  year. 

A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY  215 

"Versailles,  December  1698 
"  I  could  not  write  to  you  by  the  last  courier,  my 
dear  grandmamma,  because  I  am  out  continually, 
and  every  evening  I  go  to  see  the  King.  I  am 
sure  that  this  excuse  will  not  displease  you,  and 
that  you  will  think  that  my  time  is  well  employed, 
when  I  spend  it  with  the  King.  His  kindness  to 
me  cannot  be  expressed,  and,  since  I  know  the 
interest  you  take  in  my  happiness,  I  am  very 
pleased  to  assure  you  that  it  is  perfect,  and  that 
it  will  never  cause  me  to  forget  the  tenderness 
that  I  ought  to  have  and  do  have  for  you." 

"May  18,  [1699] 
"  You  have  then  attained  the  summit  of  happi- 
ness, my  dear  grandmamma,  since  you  find  it  in 
having  a  grandson.1  Your  joy  increases  mine, 
since  I  cannot  but  share  all  that  you  feel,  loving 
you  as  much  as  is  possible,  and  being  as  grateful 
as  I  am  for  all  your  kindness  to  me." 


Marly,  3  July  1699 
"  I  am  very  glad,  my  dear  grandmamma,  that 
you  are  not  tired  of  telling  me  of  your  affection, 
for  I  always  receive  the  assurances  of  it  with  a 
new  joy.  I  wish  I  could  tell  you  of  the  beauties 
of  this  place,  and  of  the  pleasures  we  have  here. 
I  am  delighted  to  be  on  the  footing  of  coming  here 
on  all  the  visits,  for  I  like  them  as  much  as  the 
Marlys-Bourgogne.2  I  embrace  you,  my  dear 
grandmamma,  and  I  am  going  to  bathe." 

1  The  Duchess  of  Savoy  had  given  birth  to  the  ardently-desired 
heir  on  April  26,  1699.  Unhappily,  as  we  have  mentioned  else- 
where, Victor  Amadeus,  Prince  of  Piedmont,  did  not  live  to  succeed 
his  father,  as  he  died  in  171 5. 

2  This  sentence  is  somewhat  enigmatical.  But  M.  Gagniere  is 
of  opinion  that  the  princess  means  by  "  les  Marly-Bourgogne"  the 
brief  visits  to  Marly  on  which  she  often  accompanied  the  King,  as 
distinguished  from  the  formal  sojourns  of  the  Court  there. 

216  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

"  7  September  [1699] 
"  They  tell  you  the  truth,  my  dear  grandmamma, 
when  they  assure  you  of  my  happiness,  and  I  may 
say  that  I  have  too  many  amusements,  for  they 
take  up  all  my  time.  It  is,  however,  true  that 
the  kindnesses  of  the  King  and  of  Monseigneur 
are  my  great  pleasure. 

"  I  am  well  persuaded,  my  dear  grandmamma, 
that  you  interest  yourself  in  me,  and  I  beg  you 
to  believe  that  I  deserve  it,  in  some  degree,  by 
the  affection  I  have  for  you." 

Singularly  enough,  though  there  is  scarcely 
one  of  the  princess's  letters  written  during  these 
two  years  in  which  the  King  is  not  mentioned, 
her  husband  is  only  once  referred  to,  namely,  in  a 
letter  dated  January  10,  1699,  when  she  writes  as 

follows  : 

"  10  January  1699 
"  I    am   not   yet   free   enough,  my  dear  grand- 
mamma,   with    M.    le    Due    de    Bourgogne    to    do 
the   honours   for   him.     I    am   only   very   pleased 
that  you  are  satisfied  with  his  letters." 

However,  it  should  be  borne  in  mind  that 
the  young  couple  were  not  yet  really  married. 

When  the  summer  came,  water-parties  appear 
to  have  been  again  a  favourite  means  of  amusing 
the  princess.  Dangeau  describes  at  some  length 
one  which  was  organised  in  June  1699  at  Trianon. 

"  At  six  o'clock  in  the  evening,"  he  writes, 
"  the  King  entered  the  gardens,  and,  after  pro- 
menading for  some  time,  took  a  seat  on  the  terrace 
which  overlooked  the  canal,  and  watched  Mon- 
seigneur, the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne,  and   all   the 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  217 

Princesses  embark.  Monseigneur  was  in  a  gondola, 
with  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  and  the  Princesse 
de  Conti.  The  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  was  in 
another,  with  the  ladies  whom  she  had  chosen  ; 
the  Duchesse  de  Chartres  and  Madame  la  Duchesse 
in  others.  All  the  King's  musicians  were  on  a 
yacht.  The  King  remained  until  eight  o'clock, 
listening  to  the  music,  which  was  brought  as  near 
to  him  as  possible.  When  the  King  re-entered 
the  chateau,  the  gondolas  went  to  the  end  of  the 
canal,  and  the  party  did  not  return  to  the  chateau 
till  supper  time.  The  King  had  originally  intended 
to  embark ;  but,  as  he  had  some  tendency  to  rheu- 
matism, M.  Fagon  dissuaded  him,  although  the 
weather  was  very  fine.  Monseigneur  and  the 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  walked  in  the  gardens 
and  on  the  terrace  above  the  chateau  till  two 
hours  after  midnight,  when  Monseigneur  went  to 
bed,  and  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  entered  a 
gondola  with  some  of  her  ladies,  and  remained 
on  the  canal  until  sunrise." 

Dangeau  adds  that  even  then  the  young  lady, 
so  far  from  seeking  repose,  insisted  on  staying  up 
until  seven  o'clock  to  see  Madame  de  Maintenon 
start  for  Saint-Cyr,  when  she  at  length  retired  to 
bed,  "  without  appearing  the  least  fatigued  by  so 
long  a  vigil."  * 

Unhappily,  neither  Louis  xiv  nor  Madame 
de  Maintenon  seem  to  have  stopped  to  consider 
the  probable  effect  of  so  much  indulgence  upon  the 
character  of  the  little  girl.  The  King  desired 
to  see  the  princess  happy ;   and,  since,  to  the  very 

1  Journal,  June  10,  1699. 

2i8  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

young,  happiness  is  generally  synonymous  with 
the  pursuit  of  pleasure,  multiplied  the  balls,  fetes, 
and  other  entertainments  which  afforded  her  so 
much  delight.  Madame  de  Maintenon  desired  the 
child's  affection,  partly  because  she  was  really 
attached  to  her,  and  partly  from  motives  of 
expediency,  since  she  foresaw  that  a  day  might 
come  when  the  princess  would  be  in  a  position 
to  exercise  considerable  influence.  The  easiest 
way  to  gain  and  to  retain  this  affection  seemed 
to  be  to  render  her  life  as  pleasant  as  possible, 
and,  though  she  can  scarcely  have  failed  to  perceive 
the  danger  of  the  empty  and  frivolous  existence 
which  her  former  charge  was  leading,  she  com- 
forted herself  with  the  reflection  that  she  had 
done  all  in  her  power  to  inspire  her  with  sentiments 
of  religion  and  duty  while  she  was  under  her  care, 
and  that  she  might  now  be  left  to  follow  her  own 

The  consequences  of  this  injudicious  treatment 
were  not  slow  in  revealing  themselves.  On  her 
arrival  in  France,  nothing  about  the  princess  had 
been  more  favourably  remarked  upon  than  the 
modesty  of  her  behaviour  and  the  charming 
courtesy  with  which  she  had  treated  every  one 
with  whom  she  came  in  contact.  But,  after  her 
marriage,  the  attentions  lavished  upon  her  by 
the  King  and  the  flattery  of  the  time-serving 
courtiers,  always  quick  to  follow  their  master's 
lead,  began  to  turn  the  child's  head,  and,  if  we 
are  to  believe  Madame,  her  manners  deteriorated 
in  the  most  alarming  fashion,  and,  emboldened 
by  the  indulgence  which  was  extended  to  her, 
she  ended  by  developing  into  a  veritable  hoyden. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  219 

In  her  letters  to  the  Electress  of  Hanover,  the 
outspoken  German  criticises  the  girl's  conduct 
in  the  most  severe  terms. 

"18  September  1698 
"  They  [the  King  and  Madame  de  Maintenon] 
are  absolutely  spoiling  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne. 
When  she  goes  for  a  drive,  she  does  not  remain 
in  her  place  for  a  moment,  but  seats  herself  upon 
the  knees  of  all  who  happen  to  be  in  the  same 
coach,  and  jumps  about  like  a  little  monkey. 
All  this  is  considered  charming.  In  her  own 
apartments  she  is  absolute  mistress,  and  people 
do  everything  she  wishes.  Sometimes  she  takes 
it  into  her  head  to  go  and  ramble  about  at  five 
o'clock  in  the  morning.1  Everything  is  permitted 
and  admired.  Any  other  person  would  give  his 
child  a  whipping  if  she  behaved  in  this  way.  A 
time  will  come,  I  am  sure,  when  they  will  regret 
having  allowed  this  child  to  act  just  as  she  pleases." 

And,  a  month  later,  she  writes  again  : 

"  22  October  1698 
Mon  Dieu !  how  badly,  in  my  opinion,  is 
the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  being  brought  up ! 
This  child  makes  me  pity  her.  In  the  middle  of 
dinner,  she  begins  to  sing,  she  dances  on  her  chair, 
pretends  to  bow  to  the  servants,  makes  the  most 
hideous  grimaces,  tears  the  chickens  and  partridges 
on  the  dishes  to  pieces  with  her  hands,  thrusts 
her  fingers  into  the  sauces.  In  short,  it  is  im- 
possible to  be  worse  brought  up,  and  those  who 
stand  behind  her  exclaim  :  '  What  grace  she 
has  !     how  pretty  she  is.'     She  treats  her  father- 

1  This  is  confirmed  by  the  Lettres  historiques  et  galantes  :  "  Some- 
times she  [the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne]  took  it  into  her  head  to  get 
up  at  night  and  go  out  for  a  walk  in  the  park  ;  and  then  the  worthy 
Madame  du  Lude  must  needs  get  up,  too,  and  go  after  her. 

220  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

in-law  [Monseigneur]  disrespectfully,  and  addresses 
him  as  '  thee  '  and  '  thou.'  He  imagines  then  that 
he  is  in  favour,  and  is  quite  delighted  by  it.  She 
treats  the  King  with  more  familiarity  still." 

However,  if  the  young  princess's  head  was  a 
little  turned,  her  heart  remained  good,  and  Madame 
herself  relates,  with  evident  satisfaction,  the  grief 
she  had  shown  in  taking  leave  of  the  writer's 
daughter,  Elisabeth  Charlotte  d' Orleans,  who  in 
October  1698  was  married  to  the  Duke  of  Lorraine, 
and  adds  that  it  was  a  proof  that  she  possessed 
a  good  disposition.  Nor  were  the  bad  manners 
of  which  she  had  complained  of  long  duration, 
since  by  the  end  of  the  year  Madame  is  able  to 
report  that  a  very  welcome  change  has  taken 
place  in  her  Royal  Highness's  behaviour,  and 
that  she  "  eats  quietly  and  soberly,"  and  has 
entirely  ceased  to  sing  and  jump  about,  or  thrust 
her  fingers  into  the  dishes.  This  reformation 
she  attributes  to  the  fact  that  one  of  her  letters 
had  been  opened  by  the  officials  of  the  Post  Office, 
and  the  attention  of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne 
drawn  to  its  contents ;  and,  as  a  similar  fate  befell 
that  princess's  correspondence  on  several  other 
occasions,  her  supposition  is  probably  well  founded. 

The  chief  event  of  the  year  1698  was  the  great 
review  at  Compiegne,  which  was  intended  by 
Louis  xiv  to  serve  the  twofold  purpose  of  de- 
monstrating to  Europe  that,  so  far  from  being 
enfeebled  by  the  immense  efforts  she  had  made 
during  the  recent  struggle,  France  was  still  as 
redoubtable  as  ever,  and  of  giving  the  Due  de 
Bourgogne  his  first  lessons  in  the  art  of  war.     The 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  221 

manoeuvres,  which  began  in  the  first  days  of 
September,  lasted  three  weeks,  and  were  witnessed 
by  the  King,  Madame  de  Maintenon,  and  almost 
the  entire  Court,  for  whom  the  officers  of  the 
different  regiments  engaged  kept  open  table  and 
dispensed  such  lavish  hospitality,  that  many  are 
said  to  have  been  well-nigh  ruined.  The  Due  de 
Bourgogne  was  nominally  in  command  of  the 
troops,  which  consisted  of  35,000  infantry,  nearly 
3000  cavalry,  and  several  batteries  of  artillery, 
though  the  Marechal  de  Bouffiers  really  directed 
the  operations.  These  included  a  cannonade,  the 
passage  of  a  river,  a  skirmish,  a  general  engage- 
ment, and  the  investment  of  Compiegne,  which  was 
undertaken,  according  to  the  rules  of  war,  with 
trenches,  batteries,  mines,  and  so  forth,  and  con- 
cluded with  a  grand  assault  upon  the  town. 

The  assault,  which  took  place  on  September  13, 
was  regarded  as  the  chief  spectacle  of  the  man- 
oeuvres. Early  in  the  morning  the  inhabitants  of 
Compiegne  were  awakened  by  the  thunder  of 
cannon,  and  the  King  and  all  the  Court  proceeded 
to  the  top  of  the  ramparts,  from  which  a  splendid 
view  of  the  surrounding  plain  and  all  the  disposi- 
tions of  the  troops  could  be  obtained.  "  It  was 
the  most  beautiful  sight  that  can  be  imagined," 
writes  Saint-Simon,  "  to  see  all  that  army,  and  the 
prodigious  number  of  spectators  on  horse  and  foot, 
and  that  game  of  attack  and  defence  so  cleverly 
carried  out."  But  what  the  chronicler  declares 
interested  him  infinitely  more  than  the  martial 
panorama  beneath  him,  was  the  sight  of  Madame 
de  Maintenon  in  her  sedan-chair,  which  her  porters 
had  laid  upon  the  ground,  with  the  Duchesse  de 

222  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

Bourgogne  seated  on  the  left  pole  in  front,  the 
other  princesses  and  the  ladies  of  the  Court  standing 
round  in  a  semicircle,  and  the  King  at  the  right 
window,  bending  ever  and  anon,  with  bared  head, 
to  explain  to  his  wife  the  reason  for  the  different 
movements  which  the  troops  were  executing. 
Madame  de  Maintenon,  who  had  a  horror  of  fresh 
air,  and  even  on  the  hottest  days  kept  the  windows 
of  her  apartments  and  her  carriage  closed,  declined 
to  let  down  the  glass  of  her  sedan-chair  more  than 
a  few  inches  when  his  Majesty  wished  to  address 
her,  and  put  it  up  again  the  moment  he  had  finished 
speaking,  so  that  conversation  was  carried  on 
with  some  difficulty,  and  the  Duchesse  de  Bour- 
gogne was  compelled  to  shout  to  her  "  aunt " 
through  the  front  window. 

The  spectacle  of  his  enemy  receiving  in  the 
presence  of  Court  and  Army  the  honours  due  to 
a  queen  impressed  itself  so  vividly  on  Saint-Simon's 
mind,  that  he  assures  us  that  he  could  describe  it 
"forty  years  hence  as  well  as  to-day";  and,  if 
hatred  and  malice  were  as  powerful  a  stimulus  to 
his  memory  as  they  were  to  his  imagination,  we 
can  well  believe  it. 

On  September  15,  a  "  pitched  battle "  was 
fought,  in  which  the  Due  de  Bourgogne,  aided  by 
the  counsels  of  Boufflers,  commanded  one  of  the 
armies,  and  the  Marquis,  afterwards  the  Marechal, 
de  Rosen,  the  other.  It  had  been,  of  course,  ar- 
ranged that  the  young  prince  should  be  victorious ; 
but,  owing  to  some  misunderstanding,  the  oppos- 
ing army  found  itself  in  an  unexpectedly  favour- 
able position  when  the  King  sent  orders  for  it  to 
retire  from  the  field;  and  it  is  to  be  feared  that, 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  223 

in  actual  warfare,  retreat  in  such  circumstances 
would  have  resulted  in  its  commander  being 
promptly  cashiered. 

A  few  days  later,  the  manoeuvres,  from  which 
Dangeau  tells  us  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  had  derived 
"  great  pleasure  and  much  profit,"  terminated, 
and  the  Court  returned  to  Versailles,  to  the  intense 
relief  of  the  ladies,  most  of  whom  had  been  com- 
pelled to  put  up  with  very  poor  accommodation, 
and  were  heartily  tired  of  spending  long  hours 
under  a  hot  sun,  and  counterfeiting  an  interest 
in  matters  in  regard  to  which  their  indifference  was 
only  surpassed  by  their  ignorance.  The  Duchesse 
de  Bourgogne,  on  the  other  hand,  seems  to  have 
rather  enjoyed  herself,  and  went  frequently  to 
the  camp  to  dine  with  Boufners  and  show  herself 
to  the  soldiers,  whose  rations  she  on  more  than  one 
occasion  assisted  in  distributing. 

In  the  summer  of  1699,  Louis  xiv  having  decided 
that  the  time  was  now  approaching  when  the 
young  couple  might  be  permitted  to  live  together, 
gave  orders  that  apartments  should  be  prepared 
for  the  Due  de  Bourgogne,  who  had  up  to  then 
shared  a  suite  with  his  two  brothers  in  the  southern 
wing  of  the  chateau.  The  apartments  selected 
were  those  occupied  by  the  former  gouvernante 
of  the  young  princes,  the  Marechale  de  le  Mothe, 
which  were  situated  on  the  first  floor  of  the  old 
wing,  overlooking  the  Cour  Royale,1  and  communi- 
cating both  with  the   ante-chamber  of  the   King 

1  These  apartments  were  the  official  lodging  of  the  gouvernante 
of  the  Children  of  France  ;  but,  though  the  last  of  the  young  princes 
had  passed  out  of  the  Marechale  de  la  Mothe's  hands  some  years 
before,  the  King  had  permitted  her  to  retain  them. 

224  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

and  with  the  grand  cabinet  of  the  Duchesse  de 
Bourgogne  ;  and  here  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  lived 
until  the  death  of  his  father  in  171 1. 

The  necessary  alterations  were  completed  by 
the  time  the  Court  returned  from  its  annual 
autumnal  visit  to  Fontainebleau,  and  the  Due  and 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  began  their  married  life 
forthwith.  Under  date  October  22,  1699,  Dangeau 
writes  in  his  Journal : 

"The  Due  de  Bourgogne  passed  the  night  for 
the  first  time  with  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne.  At 
first,  he  will  only  pass  alternate  nights  with  her.1 
The  King,  after  he  had  supped,  decided  to  go  and 
see  them  in  bed  together ;  but  he  went  a  little  too 
late,  and,  finding  the  doors  closed,  discreetly 
declined  to  cause  them  to  be  opened."2 

1  This  arrangement,  however,  only  lasted  three  weeks ;  for  on 
November  n,  Dangeau  announces  that  in  future  the  Due  de  Bour- 
gogne will  always  pass  the  night  with  his  wife. 

2  A  fragment  from  the  Memoires  of  the  Baron  de  Breteuil,  who 
shared  with  Nicolas  Sainctot  the  duties  of  introducteur  of  the  Am- 
bassadors, which  has  been  published  by  Cimber  and  Danjou  in  the 
Archives  curieuses  de  I'Histoire  de  France,  under  the  title,  De  la 
Soiree  et  du  lendemain  de  la  premiere  nuit  que  M.  le  due  et  madame 
la  duchesse  de  Bourgogne  ont  passee  ensemble,  contains  some 
curious  details  concerning  this  event  which,  to  his  evident  regret, 
took  place  "  without  any  ceremony  or  publicity,"  the  King  having 
decided  that,  since  the  marriage  had  nominally  been  consummated 
two  years  before,  there  was  no  necessity  for  a  repetition  of  the 
formalities  which  had  been  observed  on  that  occasion  : 

"  The  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne,  who  supped  in  Madame  de 
Maintenon's  apartments,  retired  to  bed  at  ten  o'clock,  and  so  un- 
expectedly, that,  with  the  exception  of  her  first  femme  de  chambre, 
none  of  her  women  were  awaiting  her.  The  Due  de  Bourgogne, 
who  supped  with  the  King,  went,  after  supper,  to  undress  in  his 
new  apartment,  which  had  been  prepared  for  him  during  the  visit 
to  Fontainebleau,  and  which  communicated,  on  one  side,  with  the 
ante-chamber  of  the  King,  and,  on  the  other,  with  the  grand  cabinet 
of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne.  So  soon  as  he  was  undressed,  he 
passed  into  the  apartments  of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne ;  and 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  225 

"  The  rapprochement  of  the  Due  and  Duchesse 
de  Bourgogne  was  duly  announced  by  the  Mercure, 
and  subsequently  by  the  foreign  journals,  and 
celebrated  in  the  capital  by  public  rejoicings  and 
by  the  composition  of  numerous  chansons,  some 
of  which  were  of  so  very  gai  a  character  that  the 
lieutenant  of  police  gave  orders  to  his  myrmidons 
to  confiscate  them,  though  their  efforts  do  not 
appear  to  have  been  attended  with  much  success.1 
At  the  Court,  it  was  immediately  followed  by  the 
emancipation  of  the  young  prince  from  the  authority 
of  the  Due  de  Beauvilliers,  and  the  recognition  of 
his  arrival  at  man's  estate.  The  King  added  three 
noblemen  to  the  number  of  his  gentlemen,2  offered 
him  a  substantial  increase  of  the  allowance  which 
he  had  made  him  at  the  time  of  his  marriage, — 
though  the  duke  declined  it,  observing  that,  what 
he  already  enjoyed  was  sufficient  for  his  needs, 
and  that  if  at  any  future  time  he  should  find  it 
inadequate,  he  would  take  the  liberty  of  informing 
his  Majesty, — and  finally,  to  mark  his  appreciation 
of  his  high  character  and  the  aptitude  for  affairs  of 

all  this  occupied  so  short  a  time,  that  the  King,  who  had  told  them 
that  he  was  coming  alone  to  their  apartment  to  see  them  in  bed, 
arrived  too  late  and  did  not  go  in.  The  Due  de  Bourgogne's  hair 
was  frizzled,  and  the  magnificence  of  his  deshabilU  and  his  toilette 
savoured  of  marriage.  He  quitted  his  apartment  with  a  courageous 
and  rather  sprightly  air,  and,  as  I  had  the  honour  of  holding  his 
candlestick,  I  conducted  him  up  to  the  door  of  the  nuptial  chamber. 
As  for  Madame  de  Bourgogne,  she  wept  copiously  all  the  evening 
at  Madame  de  Maintenon's ;  and  the  King  told  us,  at  his  petit 
coucher,  that  her  alarmed  modesty  had  begun  to  cause  her  to  shed 
tears  four  or  five  days  ago." 

1  According    to   the    Lettres    historiques  et    galantes,   the    most 
popular  of  these  had  been  composed  by  Madame  la  Duchesse. 

2  These  three  noblemen  were  called  menins,  and  one  at  least 
of  them  accompanied  the  prince  wherever  he  went. 




which  he  was  already  beginning  to  give  promise, 
nominated  him  a  member  of  the  Council  of 
Despatches,1  an  honour  which  had  never  before 
been  conferred  upon  so  youthful  a  prince. 

1  The  Council  of  Despatches  was  that  in  which  the  internal 
affairs  of  the  kingdom  were  discussed.  Every  prince  was  re- 
quired to  attend  its  deliberations  for  some  time  before  he  was 
admitted  to  the  Council  of  Finances  and  the  Council  of  State. 


Contrast  between  the  Due  and  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne — Attempt 
of  the  latter  to  enter  into  the  serious  views  of  her  husband — She 
rallies  him  on  his  gravity,  and  makes  game  of  him  behind  his  back 
— Happiness  of  the  first  years  of  their  married  life — The  Carnival 
of  1700 — Madame  la  Chanceliire's  ball — The  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne 
aspires  to  fame  as  an  amateur  actress — A  theatre  is  organised  for 
her  amusement  in  the  apartments  of  Madame  de  Maintenon — 
Representations  of  Jonathas,  Absalon,  and  Athalie — Gambling  at 
the  Court  of  Louis  xiv — Losses  of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne 
at  lansquenet — She  is  compelled  to  seek  the  good  offices  of  Madame 
de  Maintenon  to  get  her  debts  paid — Her  grateful  and  contrite 
letter  to  that  lady — "  High  play  still  her  dominant  passion  " — 
She  gets  into  a  serious  scrape  over  lansquenet — Injurious  effect 
upon  the  princess's  health  of  her  insatiable  appetite  for  pleasure — 
Her  alarming  illness  in  August  1701 

IT  would  have  been  difficult  to  find  two  persons 
more  dissimilar  in  character  than  the  young 
people  who  thus  began  their  married  life 
at  a  time  when  their  united  ages  scarcely  exceeded 
thirty  years ;  the  husband  grave,  studious,  pious 
to  the  verge  of  austerity,  guided  in  his  every  action 
by  that  stern  sense  of  religion  and  duty  which  had 
enabled  him  to  subdue  the  promptings  of  an  excep- 
tionally passionate  and  stubborn  nature ;  the 
wife  amiable,  affectionate,  high-spirited,  and  intelli- 
gent, but  impulsive,  thoughtless,  and  greedy  for 
all  kinds  of  pleasure.  Nevertheless,  they  would 
appear  to  have  been  for  some  years  happy  enough. 

The  Due  de  Bourgogne  adored  his  wife ;  and,  if  the 


228  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

girl  did  not  reciprocate  his  passionate  devotion, 
she  was  of  too  affectionate  a  nature  to  remain 
wholly  unresponsive  ;  while  it  is  certain  that  she 
felt  for  him  the  warmest  esteem,  and  though  too 
young  and  frivolous  to  sympathise  with  his  serious 
views  of  life,  at  any  rate,  made  some  effort  to 
understand  them.  In  this  connection,  Proyart 
cites  an  amusing  letter  which  she  wrote  about  this 
time  to  Madame  de  Maintenon. 

"  I  am  not  content  with  doing  the  will  of  the 
Due  de  Bourgogne,  but  I  even  enter  into  his  views, 
which  is  no  small  matter  for  me.  For  you  must 
understand,  my  dear  aunt,  that  he  sometimes 
offers  them  to  me  in  three  degrees, — the  good,  the 
better,  the  perfect, — just  as  M.  de  Cambrai  [Fenelon] 
would  do,  and  leaves  me  free  to  choose.  Some- 
times I  have  a  good  mind  to  declare  for  neut- 
rality ;  but,  by  what  enchantment  I  know  not,  I 
always  conform  to  his  wishes,  even  in  spite  of 

But  the  young  princess's  respect  for  her  husband 
and  her  anxiety  to  conform  to  his  wishes  did  not 
prevent  her  from  rallying  him  incessantly  on  a 
gravity  of  speech  and  manner  so  far  beyond  his 
years,  and  making  game  of  him  behind  his  back; 
and,  on  one  occasion,  if  we  are  to  believe  the 
correspondent  of  Madam  Dunoyer,  the  girl's 
fondness  for  ridicule  came  very  near  to  causing  a 
serious  breach  between  her  and  the  prince. 

We  have  mentioned  that  one  of  the  Due  de 
Bourgogne' s  shoulders  had  outgrown  the  other, 
and,  as  he  advanced  in  years,  this  defect  increased 

1  Vie  du  Dauphin,  p&re  de  Louis  xr. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  229 

to  a  degree  which  spoiled  his  figure  and  seriously 
hampered  him  in  walking.  Writing  in  the  spring 
of  1701,  Madame  declares  that  "  the  Due  de  Bour- 
gogne  is  more  deformed  than  the  Due  de  Luxem- 
bourg. The  latter  was  merely  a  hunchback,  but 
the  Due  de  Bourgogne  is  quite  awry.  One  of  his 
legs  is  much  shorter  than  the  other,  and  so  much 
so,  that,  when  he  wishes  to  stand  up,  the  heel  of  one 
of  his  feet  is  in  the  air,  and  he  only  touches  the 
ground  with  the   toes."  1 

Now,  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  was  an 
admirable  mimic,  and  frequently  diverted  the  King 
by  the  cleverness  with  which  she  imitated  the 
peculiarities  of  prominent  persons  at  the  Court. 
One  day,  at  Madame  de  Maintenon's,  encouraged 
by  the  laughter  and  applause  which  her  efforts 
evoked,  she  so  far  forgot  what  was  due  to  her 
husband  as  to  include  him  among  her  victims,  and 
counterfeited  both  his  mannerisms  and  his  gait 
with  merciless  skill. 

Unhappily,  one  of  the  company  informed  the 
Due  de  Bourgogne  of  what  had  taken  place.  The 
prince,  as  might  be  expected,  was  exceedingly 
angry,  and  that  night,  instead  of  repairing  as  usual 
to  his  wife's  room,  he  slept  in  his  own  apartments, 
and  sent  one  of  his  gentlemen  to  tell  the  duchess 
that  "  he  was  greatly  displeased  at  her  conduct, 
and  that,  though  she  would  place  him  under  an 
obligation  by  informing  him  at  once  of  his  defects 
of  mind  or  character,  so  that  he  might  hasten  to 
correct  them,  there  was  nothing  witty  in  holding 
his  physical  infirmities  up  to  ridicule." 

1  Correspondance  de  Madame,  Duchesse  d'Orleans  (edit.  Jaegle). 
Letter  of  March  31,  1701,  to  the  Electress  of  Hanover. 

230  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

The  young  lady  would  not  appear  to  have 
taken  this  well-merited  rebuke  in  very  good  part, 
and  the  prince,  in  consequence,  kept  to  his  own 
apartments  for  some  days.  Nor  was  it  until  the 
King  himself  intervened  that  a  reconciliation  was 

However,  this  quarrel,  which  gossip  has  perhaps 
exaggerated,  was  the  only  misunderstanding  of  any 
consequence  that  occurred  to  mar  the  harmony 
of  the  first  few  years  of  their  married  life.  In 
general,  the  duke  was  the  kindest  and  most  indul- 
gent of  husbands ;  while  the  princess,  if  she  were 
unable  to  resist  the  temptation  of  bantering  him 
on  his  serious  life,  in  which  the  pleasures  which  she 
herself  held  so  dear  found  no  part,  was  seldom 
ill-natured,  and  seems  to  have  lived  with  him  on 
very  affectionate  terms.  It  is  true  that  Madame, 
in  September  1701,  expresses  her  belief  that  the 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne,  "  provided  she  had  given 
birth  to  a  prince  or  two,  would  see  without  regret 
the  worthy  man  [the  Due  de  Bourgogne]  take  his 
departure  for  the  celestial  regions."2  But  that 
lady's  predilection  for  exhibiting  people  whom  she 
disliked  in  the  most  unfavourable  colours  is  almost 
as  pronounced  as  that  of  Saint-Simon,  and,  any 
way,  it  is  difficult  to  reconcile  such  a  statement 
with  the  account  given  by  Dangeau  of  the  affec- 
tionate meeting  between  husband  and  wife  on  the 
duke's  arrival  from  the  Spanish  frontier  a  few 
months  earlier,  when  "  it  would  have  been  impos- 
sible to  testify  more  joy  than  they  have  both  shown 

1  Madame  Dunoyer,  Letlres  historiques  et  galantes.     Lettre  xvi. 

2  Correspondence  de  Madame,  Duchesse  d'Orlians  (edit.  Jaegle). 
Letter  of  September  26,  1701. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  231 

at  seeing  one  another  again,"  x  or  with  the  princess's 
conduct  on  her  husband's  return  from  his  first 
campaign  in  the  autumn  of  1702  :  "  The  Due  de 
Bourgogne,  who  was  not  expected  until  to-morrow, 
arrived  a  little  before  midnight.  .  .  .  The  Duchesse 
de  Bourgogne,  warned  promptly  of  his  arrival, 
ran  to  the  King's  cabinet  by  way  of  the  gallery, 
although  she  was  en  deshabille,  having  been  on  the 
point  of  getting  into  bed.  The  embraces  were 
warm  and  tender.  She  carried  him  off  to  her 
apartments  and  into  her  petits  cabinets.  Livry 
[first  maitre  cCkotel  to  the  King]  sent  for  food  for 
him,  and  he  was  served  by  the  waiting-women. 
The  meal  lasted  but  a  short  time,  such  was  his 
impatience  to  find  himself  alone  with  her."  2 

Nevertheless,  as  we  shall  presently  see,  a  time 
did  arrive  when  the  growing  austerity  of  the  Due 
de  Bourgogne  began  to  weary  his  young  wife,  and 
to  transform  the  affection  and  respect  which  she 
had  hitherto  entertained  for  him  into  something 
very  like  indifference  and  contempt.  Happily, 
this  phase  of  their  married  life  was  not  of  long 
duration,  and  was  succeeded  by  an  almost  perfect 
understanding,  which  lasted  until  death  claimed 
them  both. 

Although  the  commencement  of  the  married  life 
of  the  Due  and  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  was  not 
signalised  by  any  festivities,  so  far  as  the  Court 
was  concerned,  their  absence  was  fully  atoned  for 
during  the  Carnival  of  1700,  which  was  the  gayest 
that  had  been  known  for  many  years. 

The  openly-expressed  desire  of  Louis  xiv  to  see 

1  Dangeau,  Journal,  April  20,  1701. 

2  Dangeau,  Journal,  September  8,  1702. 

232  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

his  idolized  grand-daughter  the  centre  of  a  Court 
whose  gaiety  and  splendour  should  recall  the  joyous 
days  when  Versailles  was  a  synonym  for  all  the 
delights  which  the  heart  could  desire,  was  hailed 
with  enthusiasm  by  the  younger  generation,  who 
had  listened  with  envy  to  the  tales  which  their 
elders  had  told  them  of  fStes  galantes  and  lies 
enchantees,  and  bemoaned  their  sad  lot  at  being 
born  into  a  world  which  had  apparently  forgotten 
how  to  be  merry.  Like  some  mountain  torrent 
which  has  been  dammed  by  the  ice  and  snow  of 
winter,  and,  with  the  return  of  spring,  finds  its 
swollen  waters  at  length  released,  the  long- 
repressed  gaiety  of  Versailles  seemed  to  burst  forth 
in  an  overwhelming  flood,  sweeping  away  in  its 
headlong  career  all  ideas  of  prudence  and  modera- 
tion. Madame  de  Sevigne's  old  friend  and  corre- 
spondent Madame  de  Coulanges,  in  a  letter  to 
Madame  de  Grignan,  thus  describes  the  rage  for 
pleasure  which  had  taken  possession  of  the  Court : 

"  You  cannot  conceive,  Madame,  the  extent  of 
the  frenzy  for  all  kinds  of  pleasure  which  now  exists. 
The  King  wishes  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  to 
do  exactly  as  she  pleases  from  morning  till  night, 
and  that  is  sufficient  for  her  to  give  herself  up  to 
it  to  her  heart's  content.  In  consequence,  one 
no  longer  hears  of  anything  but  visits  to  Marly 
and  Meudon,  and  trips  to  Paris  for  the  operas,  the 
balls,  and  the  masquerades  ;  and  nobles  who, 
so  to  speak,  lay  the  knives  on  the  table,  in  order 
to  secure  the  good  graces  of  the  young  princess. 
The  ladies  who  take  part  in  these  pleasures  have 
need,  on  their  side,  of  having  their  finances  in  a 
sound  condition,  since  expenses  are  quadrupled ; 
the  materials  of  which  the  costumes  worn  at  the 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  233 

masquerades  are  composed  never  cost  less  than 
from  one  hundred  to  one  hundred  and  fifty  francs 
an  ell ;  and  when,  by  ill-luck,  any  one  is  obliged  to 
appear  twice  in  the  same  dress,  people  observe 
that  they  are  sure  that  she  only  comes  to  Paris 
to  wear  her  old  clothes." 

The  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  lived  in  a  per- 
petual whirl  of  gaiety,  and  the  Mercure  describes, 
with  a  wealth  of  detail  which  no  Society  journal 
of  our  own  day  can  hope  to  emulate,  the  magni- 
ficence of  the  balls  which  she  graced  with  her 
presence.  The  young  princess  herself  naturally 
occupies  the  chief  place  in  these  relations,  where 
the  writer  rhapsodises,  in  turn,  over  her  toilettes, 
her  beauty,  her  grace,  the  charm  of  her  manner, 
and  the  perfection  of  her  dancing,  until  one  is 
tempted  to  believe  that  so  enchanting  a  creature 
had  never  before  been  seen  on  earth. 

Since  dancing  was  her  Royal  Highness' s  great 
delight,  and  there  was  no  surer  passport  to  her 
good  graces  than  to  offer  her  a  ball,  everybody 
wanted  to  give  one;  and,  though  the  Duchesse  du 
Maine  was  in  an  interesting  condition  and  com- 
pelled to  keep  her  bed,  this  did  not  prevent  her 
from  giving  "  not  less  than  twenty  balls  "  in  honour 
of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne.  The  guests  danced 
in  her  bedchamber,  and  it  is  not  surprising  to  learn 
that  the  crush  was  terrible.  Monseigneur,  the 
Prince  de  Conde,  the  Due  d' Antin, — Madame  de 
Montespan's  only  legitimate  son,1 — and,  in  fact, 
almost  all  the  leaders  of  the  Court,  organised  balls, 

1  Louis  Antoine  de  Pardaillan  de  Gondrin.  For  an  account 
of  this  personage,  see  the  author's  "  Madame  de  Montespan " 
(London,  Harpers  ;   New  York,  Scribners,  1903). 

234  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

that  given  by  Monsieur  le  Prince  being  particularly 
successful.  But,  by  common  consent,  the  most 
brilliant  f£te  of  the  whole  Carnival  was  one  given  by 
Madame  de  Pontchartrain  (Madame  la  Chanceliere) 
at  the  Hotel  de  la  Chancellerie,  on  February  8, 
1700,  who,  says  the  Mercure,  "  contrived  to  com- 
bine in  one  evening  all  the  diversions  which  are 
usually  indulged  in  during  the  Carnival  period, 
namely,  those  of  comedy,  fair,  and  ball." 

"  When  the  evening  came,  detachments  of  Swiss, 
together  with  a  number  of  Madame  la  Chanceliere' s 
servants  were  posted  in  the  street  and  in  the  court- 
yard, so  that  there  was  no  confusion  either  at  the 
gates  or  in  the  courtyard,  which  was  brilliantly 
illuminated  by  torches.  On  alighting  from  her 
coach,  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  was  received 
by  Monsieur  le  Chancelier,  Madame  la  Chanceliere, 
their  son,  the  Comte  de  Ponchartrain,  and  many  of 
their  friends  and  relatives,  and  conducted  to  the 
ballroom,  which  was  lighted  by  ten  chandeliers 
and  magnificent  gilded  candelabra.  At  one  end, 
on  raised  seats,  were  the  musicians,  hautboys,  and 
violins,  in  fancy  dress,  with  plumed  caps.  Above 
the  fireplace  was  a  full-length  portrait  of  the 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne.  Beyond  the  ballroom 
was  another  room,  brilliantly  lighted,  in  which  were 
hautboys  and  violins.  This  was  reserved  for  the 
masks,  whose  numbers  were  such  that  the  ball- 
room could  not  have  contained  them. 

"  After  remaining  about  an  hour  at  the  ball, 
Madame  la  Chanceliere  and  the  Comte  de  Pont- 
chartrain escorted  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  into 
another  room,  filled  with  lights  and  mirrors,  where 
a  theatre  had  been  erected  to  furnish  the  diversion 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  235 

of  a  little  comedy,  which  Madame  la  Chancelihe 
had  persuaded  M.  Dancourt  to  write  expressly  for 
this  fete.  All  the  actors  belonged  to  the  Comedie- 
Francaise.  Their  acting  was  perfection,  and  they 
were  much  applauded. 

"  The  comedy  over,  Madame  la  Chancelihe 
conducted  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  into  another 
room,  where  a  superb  collation  had  been  prepared 
in  an  ingenious  manner.  At  one  end  of  the  room, 
in  a  semicircle,  were  five  booths,  kept  by  merchants 
attired  in  the  costumes  of  different  countries  :  a 
French  pastrycook,  a  Provencal  seller  of  oranges 
and  lemons,  an  Italian  limonadihe,  a  sweetmeat 
merchant,  and  an  Armenian  vendor  of  tea,  coffee, 
and  chocolate.  They  were  from  the  King's  mu- 
sicians, and  chanted  the  merits  of  their  wares  to 
the  accompaniment  of  music,  while  pages  served 
the  guests.  .  .  .  After  the  collation,  as  the  ball- 
room was  so  crowded  with  masks,  the  Duchesse  de 
Bourgogne  returned  to  the  room  in  which  the 
comedy  had  been  performed,  and  here  a  smaller 
ball  was  kept  up  until  two  o'clock.  Then  she  went 
to  the  grand  ball  to  see  the  masks,  and  amused 
herself  there  until  five  in  the  morning.  When 
Madame  la  Chancelihe  and  the  Comte  de  Pont- 
chartrain  escorted  her  to  the  foot  of  the  staircase, 
she  informed  them,  in  the  most  gracious  manner, 
that  the  entertainment  which  they  had  just  given 
her  had  afforded  her  great  enjoyment,  and  that 
she  was  extremely  pleased  with  it.  Thus  terminated 
this  fete,  which  brought  Madame  la  Chancelihe 
many  congratulations."  1 

The  little  princess's  passion  for  dancing  seems 

1  Mercure  de  France,  February  1 700. 

236  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

to  have  been  quite  insatiable,  and,  though  there 
were  balls  on  almost  every  night  of  the  Carnival, 
she  invariably  danced  until  the  small  hours  of  the 
morning,  and  was  quite  offended  if  any  of  her 
friends  wished  to  leave  the  ballroom  before  she 
did  ;  indeed,  Saint-Simon  tells  us  that  when,  on 
one  occasion,  he  tried  to  slip  away  early,  he  was 
informed  that  she  had  given  orders  that  he  was  not 
to  be  allowed  to  pass  the  doors.  The  chronicler 
adds  that  he  and  his  wife  passed  the  last  three 
weeks  of  the  Carnival  "  without  seeing  the  day," 
and  that  when  Ash  Wednesday  arrived,  they  were 
both  completely  worn  out. 

Although  dancing  was  at  this  time  the  Duchesse 
do  Bourgogne's  favourite  diversion,  she  was  also 
an  enthusiastic  playgoer;  and,  as  theatrical  repre- 
sentations were  frequently  given  at  Versailles,  while 
during  the  annual  sojourn  of  the  Court  at  Fontaine- 
bleau  a  play  was  performed  almost  every  evening, 
she  had  ample  opportunities  for  gratifying  her 
taste,  without  the  necessity  of  making  the  journey 
to  Paris.  She  also  occasionally  assisted  at  the 
amateur  performances  which  the  Duchesse  du 
Maine  had  already  inaugurated  at  the  Chateau  of 
Clagny,  and  which  she  subsequently  continued 
with  so  much  eclat  at  Sceaux  ;  and  the  applause 
which  greeted  the  histrionic  efforts  of  this  enter- 
prising little  lady  inspired  the  princess  with  a 
desire  to  make  her  reappearance  upon  the  boards, 
and  in  some  more  prominent  role  than  that  which 
she  had  filled  at  Saint-Cyr.  Neither  Louis  xiv 
nor  Madame  de  Maintenon  would  hear  of  her 
taking  part  in  the  representations  at  Clagny,  to 
which   not  only  the  friends  of  the  Duchesse   du 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  237 

Maine,  but  even  the  public  were  admitted ;  but 
they  had  no  objection  to  her  playing  before  them- 
selves and  such  persons  as  they  should  select  ; 
and  accordingly  a  little  theatre  was  erected  in  the 
apartments  of  Madame  de  Maintenon,  the  audience 
being  limited  to  the  princes  and  princesses  and  a 
few  of  the  most  favoured  courtiers. 

The  theatre  was  inaugurated  on  December  5, 
1699,  by  the  representation  of  Jonathas,  a  "  de- 
votional play,"  in  three  acts,  by  Duche  de  Vancy, 
a  protege  of  Madame  de  Maintenon,  who  wrote, 
at  that  lady's  instigation,  several  pieces  of  a  similar 
character  for  the  demoiselles  of  Saint-Cyr.  The 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  was  supported  by  Madame 
de  Maintenon' s  niece,  Francoise  d'Aubigne,  who 
had  married  the  Comte  d'Ayen,  eldest  son  of  the 
Due  de  Noailles,  her  husband,  and  other  members 
of  the  Noailles  family  ;  but,  beyond  this,  we  are 
given  no  information  concerning  the  cast.  The 
first  representation  was  witnessed  only  by  the 
King,  Madame  de  Maintenon,  Monsieur,  and  the 
ladies  of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  ;  but,  on  the 
following  evening,  when  a  second  performance  was 
given,  several  other  members  of  the  Royal  Family 
were  present  ;  while  Chamillart,  and  Dangeau  and 
his  little  son,  the  Marquis  de  Courcillon,  were  also 

Dangeau,  who  seems  to  have  regarded  the 
invitation  which  he  and  his  son  had  received 
as  a  signal  honour,  tells  us  that  the  piece  was 
excellently  represented,  and  that  the  King  and 
Monsieur  "  found  it  very  touching."  He  praises 
the  acting  of  the  Comte  and  Comtesse  d'Ayen,  but, 
singularly  enough,  has  nothing  to  say  about  that 

238  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne,  from  which  we  may 
infer  that  the  young  princess's  performance  must 
have  left  a  good  deal  to  be  desired,  even  in  the 
eyes  of  such  an  indulgent  spectator  as  the  Court 

Apart  from  giving  a  third  performance  of 
Jonathas  some  months  later,  the  Duchesse  de 
Bourgogne' s  company  rested  on  its  laurels  for  two 
years,  when  Absalon,  another  of  Duche's  religious 
tragedies,  was  produced.  Much  greater  pains  were 
taken  to  assure  the  success  of  this  play  than  its 
predecessor ;  the  rehearsals  occupied  a  whole  month, 
and  the  celebrated  actor  Baron  was  engaged 
as  stage-manager  and  "  coach "  to  the  young 
amateurs.2  The  first  performance  took  place  on 
January  19,  1702,  the  Comte  d'Ayen  playing  the 
title  -  part ;  the  Comtesse  d'Ayen,  Thares,  the 
wife  of  Absalon ;  the  Due  d' Orleans  (the  future 
Regent),  David  ;  and  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne, 
who  was  attired  in  a  magnificent  dress  embroidered 
with  all  the  Crown  jewels,3  Absalon' s  daughter  ; 
while  Baron  was  himself  in  the  cast,  though  in  a 
role  of  secondary  importance.  The  audience  on 
this  occasion  consisted  of  nearly  forty  persons,  and 
included   the    King   and   Madame   de   Maintenon, 

1  Dangeau,  Journal,  December  5  and  6,  1699. 

2  Baron,  the  most  distinguished  of  all  the  pupils  of  Moliere, 
had  retired  from  the  stage  six  years  before,  after  a  brilliantly  suc- 
cessful career.  Happily  for  the  future  of  French  acting,  however, 
his  retirement  was  not  permanent,  and  in  1720  he  returned  to 
the  theatre  and  rendered  invaluable  assistance  to  Adrienne 
Lecouvreur  in  her  efforts  to  replace  the  inflated  style  of  elocution 
then  in  vogue  by  "  a  declamation  simple,  noble,  and  natural."  See 
the  author's  "Queens  of  the  French  Stage"  (London,  Harpers; 
New  York,  Scribners,  1905). 

3  Dangeau,  Journal,  January  19,  1702, 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  239 

nearly  all  the  princes  and  princesses,  the  Duchesse 
de  Bourgogne' s  ladies,  and  several  members  of  the 
Noailles  family.  Thanks,  in  a  great  measure  no 
doubt  to  Baron's  careful  tuition,  the  piece  seems 
to  have  created  a  very  favourable  impression ; 
and  Madame  assures  Philip  v  of  Spain  that  she 
u  wept  like  a  fool,  and  that  the  King  had  likewise 
great  difficulty  in  restraining  some  tears."  x 

Absalon  was  succeeded  by  a  little  comedy, 
in  which  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  again  ap- 
peared, though,  in  Madame' s  opinion,  with  less 
success  than  in  the  tragedy,  which  was  represented 
on  two  other  occasions. 

Encouraged  by  the  success  which  had  attended 
the  performance  of  Absalon,  the  princess  proposed 
to  Madame  de  Maintenon  that  her  company  should 
attempt  Athalie  ;  and,  on  the  following  February 
14,  Racine's  tragedy  was  played  before  Louis 
xiv  and  another  distinguished  company.  The 
wife  of  President  de  Chailly,  who  had  had  the 
honour  of  "  creating  "  the  role  of  Athalie  at  Saint- 
Cyr,  came  from  Paris,  at  Madame  de  Maintenon' s 
request,  to  undertake  the  title-part ;  the  Duchesse 
de  Bourgogne  played  Josabeth ;  the  Comtesse 
d'Ayen,  Salomith  ; 2  her  husband,  Joad  ;   the  little 

1  Letter  of  February  16,  1702. 

2  We  learn,  from  a  letter  of  Madame  de  Maintenon  to  the  Comte 
d'Ayen,  that  the  Comtesse  d'Ayen  had  been  originally  cast  for  the 
part  of  Josabeth,  and  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  for  that  of  Salo- 
mith ;  but  that  the  latter,  who  wished  to  play  the  more  important 
role,  thereupon  declared  her  belief  that  the  play  was  "  too  cold  " 
to  succeed,  an  opinion,  however,  which  only  lasted  until  Josabeth 
was  given  her.  "  The  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  told  me  that  she 
did  not  believe  that  Athalie  would  be  a  success  ;  that  it  was  a  very 
cold  play,  and  several  other  things  which  enable  me  to  perceive, 
through  the  knowledge  that  I  have  of  this  Court,  that  her  part 

240  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

Comte   de   Lesparre,    second   son   of    the  Due    de 
Guiche,  Joas ;  and  the  Due  d' Orleans,  Abner. 

The  Mercure,  to  whom  we  owe  these  details, 
since  Dangeau  confines  himself  to  the  bare  state- 
ment that  "  to-day  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne 
played  in  Athalie,  in  Madame  de  Maintenon's 
apartments,"  1  distributes  commendations  all  round 
with  lavish  hand,  though  its  eulogy  of  the  young 
princess  contains  a  hint  that  she  was  more  than  a 
little  nervous  : 

"  The  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  played  Josabel 
(sic)  with  all  the  grace  and  the  intelligence 
imaginable,  and,  though  her  rank  might  have 
justified  her  in  displaying  more  boldness  than 
another,  that  which  she  has  shown,  merely  to 
prove  that  she  was  mistress  of  her  part,  was  always 
joined  to  a  certain  timidity,  which  ought  perhaps 
to  be  accounted  modesty  rather  than  nervousness. 
The  costumes  of  this  princess  were  of  great  magnifi- 
cence ;  nevertheless,  one  may  say,  that  the  stage 
was  more  adorned  by  her  person  than  by  the 
richness  of  her  dresses."  2 

A  second  performance  of  Athalie  was  given  on 
the  23rd  of  the  same  month,  and  a  third  two  days 
later,  and  with  her  appearance  on  the  latter 
occasion  the  histrionic  career  of  the  Duchesse 
de  Bourgogne  came  to  an  end.  Whether  the 
young  princess  had  not  met  with  quite  the  measure 

displeases  her.  She  wants  to  play  Josabeth,  which  she  cannot  play 
as  well  as  the  Comtesse  d'Ayen.  ...  I  told  her  that  she  need  not 
undertake  anything  against  her  will  in  an  amusement  which  was 
only  arranged  for  her  pleasure.  She  is  delighted  and  finds  Athalie 
a  very  fine  play." 

1  Journal,  February  14,  1702. 

2  Merpure  de  France,  February  1702. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  241 

of  success  she  had  been  led  to  anticipate,  and 
was  a  little  annoyed  at  finding  her  own  efforts 
eclipsed,  as  they  undoubtedly  were,  by  her  old 
friend  the  Comtesse  d'Ayen,  or  whether  Madame 
de  Maintenon  was  tired  of  having  the  tranquillity 
of  her  apartments  disturbed  by  the  noise  and 
confusion  which  the  preparations  for  these  per- 
formances entailed,  and,  after  the  little  un- 
pleasantness we  have  mentioned,  was  no  longer 
inclined  to  undertake  the  responsibility  of  organis- 
ing them,  there  were  no  more  amateur  theatricals 
at  Versailles  ;  and  the  princess  henceforth  con- 
fined her  interest  in  the  drama  to  the  role  of 

But  the  drama,  except  during  the  annual 
visit  of  the  Court  to  Fontainebleau,  and  dancing, 
save  during  the  Carnival,  were  not  pleasures  which 
could  be  indulged  in  every  evening  of  the  week. 
There  were,  however,  other  methods  of  passing 
the  time  agreeably,  and  preventing  young  ladies 
with  no  taste  for  serious  occupation  from  becoming 
bored,  which  were  quite  independent  of  the  seasons  ; 
and  the  most  popular  of  these  was  play. 

The  France  of  Louis  xiv  was  remarkable  for 
its  passion  for  play  ;  and,  if  the  vice  were  not  quite 
so  widespread  as  in  the  eighteenth  century,  the 
stakes  were  infinitely  higher.  "  Play  without 
limit  and  without  regulation,"  said  the  celebrated 
Jesuit  preacher  Bourdaloue,  in  one  of  his  sermons, 
"  which  is  no  longer  an  amusement,  but  a  business, 
a  profession,  a  trade,  a  fascination ;  nay,  if  I 
may  say  so,  a  rage  and  a  madness  ;  which  brings 
inevitably   in  its   train   the   neglect   of   duty,    the 

ruin  of  families,   the   dissipation  of  fortunes,   the 

242  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

mean  trickery  and  knavery  which  result  from 
greed  of  gain,  insanity,  misery,  despair."  x 

The  Court  in  this  matter  set  a  deplorable 
example  to  the  rest  of  the  country,  and  the  Royal 
Family  a  deplorable  example  to  the  Court.  Even 
the  devout  Queen  found  it  not  inconsistent  with 
her  religious  scruples  to  play  for  much  higher 
sums  than  she  could  conveniently  pay,  and  on 
her  death,  in  1683,  was  found  to  have  left  debts 
of  honour  amounting  to  100,000  ecus  (300,000 
francs)  behind  her,  which  Louis  xiv  promptly 
discharged.  Madame  de  Sevigne,  writing  in  1676, 
tells  us  that  when  the  King  played  with  the  Court 
at  reversi,  the  pools  ranged  from  500  to  1200 
louis,  and  each  player  began  by  contributing 
20  louis.  But  this  semi-public  gaming  was  a  mere 
bagatelle  to  what  went  on  in  private,  where  such 
prodigious  sums  were  won  and  lost  as  would  seem 
scarcely  credible,  were  they  not  vouched  for  by  a 
score  of  witnesses. 

Madame  de  Montespan,  who  was  one  of 
the  greatest  gamblers  of  which  history  makes 
mention,  thought  nothing  of  winning  or  losing 
a  million  livres  at  bassette  at  a  single  sit- 
ting.2 On  Christmas  Day  1678,  she  lost  700,000 
ecus  (2,100,000  francs)  and  at  the  beginning  of 
the  following  March  took  part  in  company  with 
Monsieur  Bouyn — a  wealthy  financier  of  the  time — 
and  certain  other  kindred  spirits  in  an  all-night 
seance,  at  which  the  players  staked  as  though 
they  had   the  coffers   of   the   State   behind   them  : 

1  Hurel,  les  Orateurs  sacra's  a  la  Cour  de  Louis  xiv. 

2  Madame   de  Montmorency   to   Bussy-Rabutin,   December  9, 
1687,  Correspondance  de  Bussy-Rabutin. 


FROM    AN    ENGRAVING    BY    DREVET,    AFTER     INK    I'AINTING    HV    UK, All) 


A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  243 

"  Madame  de  Montespan  lost  400,000  pistoles 
[4,000,000  francs]  playing  against  the  bank,  which, 
however,  she  eventually  won  back.  At  eight  o'clock 
in  the  morning,  Bouyn,  who  kept  the  bank,  wished 
to  stop,  but  the  lady  declared  that  she  did  not 
intend  to  go  to  bed  until  she  had  won  back  another 
100,000  pistoles  which  she  owed  him  from  a  previous 
occasion.  Monsieur  only  left  Madame  de  Monte- 
span's  apartments  in  time  to  attend  the  King's 
lever.  The  King  paid  30,000  pistoles  which 
Monsieur  and  Madame  de  Montespan  still  owed 
the  other  players."  * 

The  most  consistently  successful  gambler  at 
the  Court  was  undoubtedly  Dangeau,  who,  though 
he  never  appears  to  have  indulged  in  any  such 
orgies  as  the  above,  must  have  amassed  a  very 
large  fortune  at  the  card-table.  "  I  saw  Dangeau 
play,"  writes  Madame  de  Sevigne  to  her  daughter, 
"  and  could  not  help  observing  how  awkward 
others  appeared  in  comparison  with  him.  He 
thinks  of  nothing  but  the  game  ;  gains  when  others 
lose  ;  never  throws  a  chance  away ;  profits  by 
every  mistake  ;  nothing  escapes  or  distracts  him. 
Thus,  two  hundred  thousand  francs  in  ten  days, 
a  hundred  thousand  ecus  in  a  month,  are  added  to 
his  receipt-book."  Another  person  who  gained 
great  wealth  at  play  was  Langlee,  the  son  of  a 
waiting-woman  of  Anne  of  Austria,  who,  by  his 
skill  and  address,  had  succeeded  in  making  his 
way  into  the  very  highest  society.  Neither  he 
nor  Dangeau  ever  fell  under  the  suspicion  of 
assisting   Fortune,    but   as   much   cannot   be   said 

1  Letter  of  the  Marquis  de  Trichateau  to  Bussy-Rabutin,  March 
6,  1687,  Correspondance  de  Bussy-Rabutin. 

244  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

for  several  other  successful  players ;  and  we  learn 
that  in  1700  such  unpleasant  rumours  were  in 
circulation  in  regard  to  the  persistent  good-luck 
enjoyed  by  the  Due  d'Antin,  that  his  mother, 
Madame  de  Montespan,  fearing  a  scandal,  persuaded 
him  to  renounce  the  card-table,  in  consideration 
of  a  substantial  increase  of  his  allowance. 

It  might  be  supposed  that  Louis  xiv's  conversion 
would  have  been  followed  by  some  abatement 
of  this  evil,  but  the  very  opposite  was  the  case. 
Recognising  that  his  courtiers  must  have  some 
amusement  to  replace  the  brilliant  fetes  which  he 
had  ceased  to  offer  them,  the  King  rather  en- 
couraged than  frowned  upon  the  votaries  of  Chance, 
granted  them  certain  dispensations  of  etiquette, 
such  as  permission  to  remain  seated  when  he 
passed  through  the  rooms  where  the  card-tables 
were  set  out,  and  played  himself  for  much  higher 
stakes  than  in  former  days.1 

The  result  of  the  absence  of  rival  attractions 
and  of  the  royal  approval  was  that  Versailles 
became  a  veritable  hotbed  of  gambling,  and  about 
the  time  of  the  Princess  Adelaide's  arrival  the 
mania  for  play  seems  to  have  reached  its  height. 
Lansquenet,  a  game  which  had  hitherto  been 
confined  to  the  lower  classes,  had  recently  become 
the  fashion  at  Court,  and  fortunes  changed  hands  in 
the  course  of  a  single  seance.  "  Here,  in  France," 
writes  Madame,  "  so  soon  as  people  get  together 
they  do  nothing  but  play  lansquenet  ;  the  young 
people   no   longer   care  about   dancing.  .  .  .  They 

1  Dangeau  and  Sourches  both  mention  a  game  of  reversi,  which 
the  King  played  with  Monseigneur,  Monsieur,  Dangeau,  and  Langlee 
in  the  winter  of  1 686-1 687,  at  which  each  player  brought  with 
him  to  the  table  a  sum  of  5000  pistoles. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  245 

play  here  for  frightful  sums,  and  the  players 
seemed  bereft  of  their  senses.  One  shouts  at  the 
top  of  his  voice  ;  another  strikes  the  table  so 
violently  with  his  fist  that  the  whole  room  re- 
sounds ;  a  third  blasphemes  in  a  manner  to  make 
one's  hair  stand  on  end  ;  all  appear  beside  them- 
selves, and  it  is  horrible  to  watch  them."  *  Brelan 
was  another  game  much  in  vogue,  and  the  Princesse 
de  Conti  had  a  brelan-party  nearly  every  evening 
in  her  apartments.  Both  she  and  her  half-sister, 
Madame  la  Duchesse,  were  terrible  gamblers,  and  in 
May  1700  the  latter  wrote  to  Madame  de  Maintenon 
to  tell  her  that  she  had  lost  "  from  10,000  to  12,000 
pistoles,  which  it  was  impossible  for  her  to  pay  just 
then."  Madame  de  Maintenon  showed  the  letter 
to  the  King,  and  begged  him  to  come  to  his 
daughter's  assistance.  His  Majesty  consented, 
and,  having  directed  Langlee,  "  whom  Madame  la 
Duchesse  honoured  with  her  confidence,"  to  draw 
up  and  submit  to  him  a  detailed  statement  of  the 
whole  of  the  lady's  liabilities,  paid  them  in  full, 
and  without  saying  a  word  to  the  lady's  husband, 
which  was  distinctly  kind  of  him.2 

With  such  examples  all  around  her,  it  is  not 
surprising  that  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  should 
speedily  have  become  a  constant  habituee  of  the 
card-table,  nor  that  she  should  have  been  compelled 
to  pay  pretty  dearly  for  her  initiation  into  the 
mysteries  of  hombre,  brelan,  and  lansquenet,  since 
young  ladies  of  fifteen  or  thereabouts  are  not 
generally   endowed    with    the    self-restraint    which 

1  This    was,    of    course,    at    private    gambling-parties.     When 
people  played  in  the  State  apartments,  the  stakes  were  comparat 
ively  moderate,  and  the  utmost  decorum  was  observed. 

2  Dangeau,  Journal,  May  17,  1700. 

246  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

enables  older  and  more  experienced  gamblers  to 
cut  their  losses.  Lansquenet  was  her  passion,  and 
the  cause  of  her  most  disastrous  reverses,  and, 
singularly  enough,  about  the  same  time  that 
Madame  la  Duchesse  found  herself  obliged  to 
have  recourse  to  the  good  offices  of  Madame  de 
Maintenon  to  get  her  debts  paid,  the  latter  received 
a  similar  petition  from  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne. 
We  are  not  told  the  amount  of  the  princess's 
liabilities,  but  it  was  no  doubt  very  considerable ; 
and  since,  according  to  Saint-Simon,  she  was  very 
punctilious  about  her  debts  of  honour,  the  matter 
must  have  caused  her  the  keenest  distress.  How- 
ever, her  appeal  was  successful,  and,  in  acknow- 
ledging the  money,  she  wrote  the  following  grateful 
and  contrite  letter  to  Madame  de  Maintenon  : — 

"Friday,  Midnight,  May  1700 
"  I  am  in  despair,  my  dear  aunt,  at  always 
committing  follies,  and  giving  you  reason  to  find 
fault  with  me.  I  am  firmly  resolved  to  correct 
myself,  and  not  to  play  again  at  this  wretched 
game  [lansquenet],  which  serves  only  to  damage 
my  reputation  and  to  diminish  your  affection, 
which  is  more  precious  to  me  than  anything.  I 
beg  you,  my  dear  aunt,  not  to  speak  to  me  about 
it,  if  I  keep  my  resolution.  If  I  fail  only  once,  I 
shall  be  delighted  for  the  King  to  forbid  me  the 
game,  and  to  endure  everything  which  may  result 
from  the  bad  impression  which  he  will  form  of  me. 
I  shall  never  console  myself  for  being  the  cause 
of  your  sufferings,  and  I  shall  not  forgive  this 
accursed  lansquenet. 

"  Pardon,  then,  my  dear  aunt,  my  past  faults.  I 
hope  that  my  conduct  hereafter  will  generally 
make  amends  for  my  follies,  and  that  I  shall  be 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  247 

worthy  of  your  affection.  All  that  I  shall  desire 
in  this  world  is  to  be  a  princess  whose  conduct 
renders  her  estimable,  and  this  I  shall  strive  to 
deserve  in  the  future.  I  flatter  myself  that  I  am 
not  yet  too  old,  nor  my  reputation  too  tarnished, 
for  me  to  succeed  in  time.  I  am  overwhelmed 
by  all  your  kindness,  and  by  what  you  have  sent 
me  to  enable  me  to  pay  my  debts.  ...  I  am  in 
despair  at  having  displeased  you.  I  have  aban- 
doned God,  and  He  has  abandoned  me  ;  but  I 
trust  that,  with  His  help,  which  I  ask  of  Him 
with  all  my  heart,  I  shall  get  the  better  of  all  my 
faults,  and  restore  to  you  your  health,  which  is 
so  dear  to  me,  and  which  I  am  the  cause  of  your 
having  lost.  To  my  sorrow,  I  should  not  dare  to 
flatter  myself  that  you  will  forget  my  faults,  nor 
to  ask  you  to  give  me  back  again,  my  dear  aunt, 
an  affection  of  which  I  have  rendered  myself 
unworthy.  I  trust,  however,  that  in  time  I  shall 
merit  it  once  more ;  and  I  shall  have  no  other 
occupation."  x 

The  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  was  no  doubt 
perfectly  sincere  in  her  expressions  of  penitence 
and  her  resolution  to  amend  her  ways.  But 
circumstances  proved  too  strong  for  her,  and, 
though  she  certainly  did  renounce  lansquenet  for  a 
season,  hombre,  brelan,  and  reversi — in  which  last 
game  Dangeau  tells  us  that  he  had  the  honour  of 
giving  her  lessons — seem  to  have  provided  her 
with  ample  opportunities  for  dissipating  her  super- 
fluous cash,  and  often  a  good  deal  that  was  not 
superfluous ;  and,  some  eighteen  months  later, 
we  learn   that   "  high   play  is   still   her   dominant 

1  Melanges  de  litter  ature  et  d'histoire,  published  by  the  Societe 
des  Bibliophiles  Francais  ;  Comte  d'Haussonville,  la  Duchesse  de 
Bourgogne  et  V Alliance  savoy arde  sous  Louis  xiv. 

248  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

passion."  1  Finally,  lansquenet  reasserted  its  fatal 
fascination,  and  in  the  summer  of  1707  her  desire 
to  indulge  in  this  dangerous  pastime  led  her  to 
represent  to  Madame  de  Maintenon  that  a 
gambling  orgy  to  which  she  had  been  invited  by 
Madame  la  Duchesse  at  La  Bretesche,  a  little 
village  between  Versailles  and  Marly,  was  merely 
an  innocent  hunting-collation,  which  piece  of  de- 
ception so  angered  the  King  that  he  forbade  her 
to  play  the  game  again.  Under  date  July  16, 
1707,  Madame  de  Maintenon  writes  to  Madame 
de  Dangeau  : — 

"It  is  to  speak  to  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne 
that  I  asked  you  to  postpone  your  visit  to  Paris 
until  to-morrow.  The  King  told  me  yesterday 
that  he  had  been  surprised  to  find  the  card-players 
at  La  Bretesche,  so  I  knew  that  the  Duchesse 
de  Bourgogne  had  been  deceiving  me.  .  .  .  The 
King  said  to  me  :  '  Was  not  a  dinner,  a  ride,  a 
hunt,  and  a  collation  enough  for  one  day  ?  '  Then 
he  added,  after  a  little  reflection,  '  I  shall  do  well 
to  tell  these  gentlemen  that  they  are  not  paying 
their  court  to  me  in  an  acceptable  way  by  playing 
cards  with  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne.'  I  told 
him  that  lansquenet  had  always  been  a  source  of 
trouble  to  me,  from  my  fear  lest  it  should  lead 
her  to  do  something  which  might  injure  her  and 
place  her  in  an  equivocal  position.  We  then 
talked  of  other  matters,  but  the  King  returned  to 
the  subject  and  said  to  me  :  '  Ought  I  not  to 
speak  to  these  gentlemen  ?  '  I  answered  that  I 
thought  that  such  a  step  would  hurt  the  Duchesse 
de   Bourgogne,  and   that   it   would   be  better   for 

1  Madame  de  Maintenon  to  the  Princesse  de  Soubise,  December 
1701,  in  Geffroy,  Madame  de  Maintenon  d'apres  sa  correspondance 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  249 

him  to  speak  to  her  and  keep  the  affair  a  secret. 
He  told  me  that  he  would  do  so  to-day,  and  it 
is  in  order  to  warn  her,  Madame,  that  I  have 
begged  you  to  remain.  Here  we  are  then,  and, 
sooner  than  I  expected,  on  the  verge  of  that 
estrangement  which  I  have  always  dreaded.  The 
King  will  think  that  he  has  offended  her  by  for- 
bidding her  to  play  lansquenet,  and  will  be  more 
distant  to  her ;  and  it  is  certain  that  she  will 
be  angry  and  more  cold  towards  him.  I  shall 
think  the  same,  but  I  am  not  yet  sufficiently  in- 
different to  the  world's  good  opinion  as  to  suffer 
it  to  believe  that  I  approve  of  such  conduct  . 

"  1 

The  incessant  pursuit  of  pleasure  in  which  the 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  continued  to  pass  her 
days  :  balls,  f&tes,  card-parties,  the  chase,  visits 
to  the  Opera  and  the  Comedie-Franeaise,  ex- 
peditions to  the  fairs  in  and  around  Paris,  water 
excursions,  collations  at  the  Menagerie,  picnics 
in  the  forests  of  Marly  and  Fontainebleau,  and  so 
forth,  not  only  left  her  no  time  for  any  useful 
occupation,  and  fostered  a  craving  for  novelty 
and  excitement  which,  as  will  be  seen  hereafter, 
she  sometimes  carried  to  dangerous  lengths,  but 
was  exceedingly  injurious  to  her  health,  since  it 
frequently  entailed  a  good  deal  of  physical  exer- 
tion and  the  keeping  of  very  late  hours.  Even 
to  a  young  girl  of  robust  constitution  such  a  life 
would  have  been  a  severe  strain,  and  the  Duchesse 
de  Bourgogne  was  naturally  delicate.  Moreover, 
as  we  have  already  mentioned,  she  had  very  bad 
teeth  and  suffered  severely  from  toothache,  from 

1  Geffroy,    Madame    de    Maintenon     d'aprh    sa    correspondence 

250  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

which,  as  the  science  of  dentistry  was  then  in  its 
infancy,  she  was  never  able  to  obtain  any  permanent 
relief,  and  also  from  what  would  appear  to  have 
been  an  acute  form  of  indigestion.  During  the 
first  three  years  which  followed  her  marriage,  she 
had  several  slight  attacks  of  fever,  and  in  the  first 
week  of  August  1701  fell  seriously  ill,  the  result, 
according  to  Saint-Simon,  of  having  bathed  in  the 
Seine  immediately  after  she  had  eaten  a  quantity 
of  fruit. 

The  Court  was  then  on  the  point  of  starting 
for  Marly,  and,  although  quite  unfit  to  leave  her 
bed,  she  would  not  hear  of  the  visit  being  postponed 
or  of  being  left  behind.  On  the  9th — the  day  after 
arriving  at  Marly — she  was  in  a  high  fever,  which 
lasted  until  late  on  the  following  day,  when,  as 
the  result  of  the  administration  of  an  emetic,  she 
took  a  turn  for  the  better,  and  Fagon,  who  attended 
her,  confidently  asserted  that  all  danger  was  over. 
However,  on  the  13th  she  had  a  relapse,  and 
speedily  became  delirious,  and,  though  the  violent 
remedies  to  which  Fagon  had  recourse  brought 
her  back  to  consciousness,  they  reduced  her  to 
such  a  pitiably  weak  condition  that  she  believed 
her  case  to  be  hopeless  and  asked  for  her  confessor. 
As  that  worthy  man  had  not  accompanied  the 
Court  to  Marly,  and  some  hours  must  elapse  before 
he  could  arrive,  it  was  judged  advisable  to  send 
for  the  cure  of  the  parish,  "  to  whom  she  made 
her  confession,  and  with  whom  she  was  very 
satisfied.' '  * 

The  King  and  Madame  de  Maintenon  were  in 
despair,   and  the  grief  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne 

1  Dangeau,  Journal,  August  13,  1701. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  251 

was  such  that  even  Madame,  between  whom  and 
the  young  princess  there  was  very  little  love  lost, 
could  not  refrain  from  weeping  with  him.1  The  next 
day,  however,  she  was  much  better,  and  on  the  16th 
she  was  pronounced  convalescent,  and  Dangeau 
reports  that  "  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  is  very 
gay,  and  not  so  weak  as  might  be  expected  after  so 
severe  an  illness  and  so  many  remedies."  2  Never- 
theless, her  convalescence,  through  which  she  was 
nursed  by  Madame  de  Maintenon  with  a  devotion 
to  which  even  Saint-Simon  renders  justice,  was  a 
long  one,  and  it  was  some  weeks  before  she  was 
able  to  leave  her  room. 

It  might  be  supposed  that  this  narrow  escape 
would  have  served  as  a  warning  to  the  young  lady 
of  the  danger  of  constantly  drawing  bills  upon 
Nature  ;  but  no  sooner  was  she  restored  to  health, 
than  she  resumed  her  pursuit  of  pleasure  with  all 
the  zest  begotten  of  long  abstinence  ;  nor  does 
Madame  de  Maintenon,  though  she  admits  that  the 
girl's  illness  "  must  be  considered  as  a  result  of  the 
irregular  life  which  she  was  leading,"  appear  to 
have  made  any  effort  to  restrain  her. 

1  Letter  of  Madame  to  the  Raugravine  Luise,  August  14,  1701. 
Correspondance  de  Madame,  Duchesse  d'Orleans  (edit.  Jaegle). 

2  Journal,  August  16,  1701. 


Death  and  testament  of  Carlos  n  of  Spain — Louis  xiv  resolves 
to  accept  the  succession  to  the  throne  of  Spain  on  behalf  of  his 
grandson,  Philippe,  Ducd'Anjou — "  Iln'y  a  plus  de  Pyrenees!" — The 
new  king  treated  at  the  French  Court  as  a  foreign  sovereign — 
His  parting  present  to  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne — His  departure 
for  Madrid — Position  of  Victor  Amadeus  n  in  regard  to  the  Spanish 
succession  (1696- 1700) — His  designs  on  the  Milanese — He  seeks 
to  obtain  a  promise  from  Louis  xiv  to  secure  this  province  for 
him  on  the  death  of  Carlos  11 — His  claims  ignored  in  the  First 
Partition  Treaty — The  death  of  the  Electoral  Prince  of  Bavaria 
revives  his  hopes — His  indignation  at  being  excluded  from  the 
benefits  of  the  Second  Partition  Treaty — Negotiations  between 
Savoy  and  France  for  the  cession  of  the  Milanese  to  the  Duke 
interrupted  by  the  death  of  Carlos  11 — Anger  of  Victor  Amadeus 
against  Louis  xiv — His  equivocal  behaviour — He  is  constrained 
by  France  to  enter  into  a  fresh  alliance  which  offers  him  no  hope 
of  an  increase  of  territory 

ON  November  9,  1700,  news  reached  Fontaine- 
bleau,  where  the  Court  was  then  in  residence, 
that  the  childless  Carlos  11  of  Spain  was 
dead,  and  that,  by  a  will  which  he  had  signed  on 
the  preceding  October  7,  the  whole  of  the  vast 
dominions  of  the  Spanish  crown  had  been  be- 
queathed to  Philippe,  Due  d'Anjou,  the  second  son 
of  the  Dauphin.1  On  the  following  day,  a  solemn 
council  was  held  to  decide  whether  France  was  to 
accept  or  reject  the  Will,  to  which  were  summoned 

1  The  Dauphin  had  formally  renounced  his  claims  in  favour  of 
his  second  son,  while  the  Emperor  Leopold  had  done  likewise  in 

favour  of  his  second  son,  the  Archduke  Charles. 


A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  253 

the  Chancellor  Pontchartrain,  Beauvilliers,  President 
of  the  Council  of  Finance,  Torcy,  Minister  for  Foreign 
Affairs,  Monseigneur,  and  Madame  de  Maintenon. 
The  Council  was  divided.  Torcy  and  Monseigneur 
were  strongly  in  favour  of  acceptance  ;  Beauvilliers 
declared  his  conviction  that  such  a  course  would 
inevitably  be  followed  by  a  war  which  would  cause 
the  ruin  of  France  ;  the  Chancellor  confined  him- 
self to  a  judicial  survey  of  the  whole  situation, 
and  concluded  by  begging  to  be  excused  from 
committing  himself  either  way ;  while  Madame  de 
Maintenon  does  not  appear  to  have  spoken  at  all, 
nor  ever  to  have  expressed  a  decided  opinion,  at  any 
rate  publicly,  and  the  part  she  played  in  this 
matter,  as  in  so  many  others,  remains  an  enigma. 

It  is  probable  that  Louis  xiv  had  already 
decided  in  the  affirmative,  and  that  the  arguments 
to  which  he  listened  had  little  effect  upon  him. 
Any  way,  on  the  12th  a  despatch  was  sent  to 
Madrid  conveying  his  Majesty's  acceptance  of  the 
Will  on  behalf  of  his  grandson,  and  the  Spanish 
Ambassador  was  informed  of  the  momentous 
decision  which  had  been  arrived  at.  This,  however, 
was  not  made  public  until  the  morning  of  the  16th, 
the  day  after  the  Court  had  returned  to  Versailles, 
when  Louis  xiv,  at  his  lever,  presented  the  Due 
d'Anjou  to  the  expectant  crowd  of  courtiers  and 
diplomatists  as  Philip  v  of  Spain,  and  the  Spanish 
Ambassador  uttered  those  celebrated  words,  which 
many  historians  still  persist  in  putting  into  the 
mouth  of  Louis  himself  :  "  II  ijy  a  plus  de  Pyrenees  ; 
elles  sont  ablmees I"1 

1  "  The  Ambassador  threw  himself  at  his  [the  Due  d'Anjou's] 
feet,  and  kissed  his  hand,  his  eyes  filled  with  tears  of  joy  ;  and, 

254  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

From  that  hour  until  the  departure  of  the  new 
monarch  to  take  possession  of  his  inheritance,  he 
was  treated  in  all  respects  as  a  foreign  sovereign ; 
and  the  lad,  who  only  a  few  hours  before  had  been 
under  the  authority  of  his  gouverneur,  became 
forthwith  the  equal  of  his  grandfather  and  the 
superior  of  his  brothers.  Louis  xiv,  indeed,  took 
pleasure  in  emphasising  the  new  position  which  his 
grandson  occupied,  and  on  the  first  evening  insisted 
on  accompanying  him  to  the  door  of  his  bed- 
chamber, where  he  observed  as  he  parted  from  him  : 
"  Je  souhaite  que  sa  Majeste  repose  bien  cette  nuit!  " 
However,  the  comic  side  of  the  situation  proved  too 
much  for  Louis's  gravity,  and  he  was  unable  to 
repress  a  smile. 

Visits  of  ceremony  were  exchanged  between  the 
King  of  Spain  and  the  different  members  of  the 
Royal  Family  precisely  as  though  he  had  been  a 
foreign  sovereign  newly  arrived  at  the  Court,  and, 
though  the  three  young  princes  lived  on  terms  of 
the  greatest  familiarity  and  affection,  the  rigid 
etiquette  of  the  time  did  not  permit  them  to  forego 
a  single  detail  of  the  formalities  prescribed  for  these 
occasions.  Thus,  during  the  visit  which  Philip 
paid  to  the  Due  de  Bourgogne,  both  brothers 
remained  standing  the  whole  time,  and  the  same 
uncomfortable  custom  was  observed  when  he 
visited  the  Due  de  Berry.  In  the  case  of  the 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne,  however,  etiquette  was 
relaxed,  not  improbably  because  that  young  lady 
had   intimated   to   his   Catholic   Majesty   that   she 

having  risen,  he  made  his  son  and  the  Spaniards  of  his  suite  advance 
and  do  likewise.  Then  he  cried  :  '  Quelle  joie  !  il  n'y  a  plus  de 
Pyrenees,  elles  sont  abimees,  et  nous  ne  sommes  plus  qu'un.'  "  Mercure 
de  France,  October  1700. 

A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY  255 

preferred  to  be  seated  when  there  was  no  useful 
object  to  be  served  by  standing  ;  and  their  visits 
were  exchanged  without  any  ceremony  whatever. 

The  princess's  behaviour  towards  the  new  King, 
indeed,  was  sadly  wanting  in  respect,  for,  shortly 
afterwards,  she  secreted  herself  in  the  ruclle  of  the 
royal  bed  to  listen  to  an  address  of  congratulation 
with  which  the  Academy  was  to  present  him.  How- 
ever, his  Majesty  would  not  appear  to  have  re- 
sented this  familiarity,  and,  a  few  days  before  his 
departure  for  Spain,  he  begged  her  to  accept,  as  a 
souvenir  of  the  close  friendship  which  had  always 
existed  between  them,  a  pair  of  magnificent  diamond- 
earrings,  which  had  been  left  him  by  his  mother, 
the  ill-fated  Bavarian  Dauphine,  having  first, 
Dangeau  tells  us,  consulted  Madame  de  Maintenon 
"to  know  if  this  present  were  not  too  insigni- 
ficant." l 

On  December  4,  Philip  v  set  out  on  his  long 
journey  to  Madrid,  accompanied  by  the  Dues  de 
Bourgogne  and  de  Berry,  and  an  imposing  escort, 
under  the  command  of  Beauvilliers.  The  King 
parted  from  his  brothers,  neither  of  whom  he  was 
ever  to  see  again  on  earth,  at  Saint-Jean-de-Luz, 
whence  they  returned  to  Versailles  by  way  of 
Languedoc  and  Provence,  this  circuitous  route 
being  selected  in  order  that  the  Due  de  Bourgogne 
might  make  himself  acquainted  with  as  much  of 
France  as  possible ;  while  the  young  sovereign 
continued  his  journey  to  his  capital,  which  he 
reached  in  safety  on  February  18,  1701.  Before 
the  year  had  run  half  its  course  the  Imperialists 
had    invaded    the    Milanese,    and    that    long    and 

1  Dangeau,  Journal,  November  27,  1700. 

256  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

sanguinary    struggle    known    as    the    War    of    the 
Spanish  Succession  had  begun. 

We  have  no  intention  of  entering  here  upon  the 
vexed  question  of  how  far  Louis  xiv  was  morally 
and  politically  justified  in  accepting  the  crown 
of  Spain  for  his  grandson,  in  defiance  of  the  terms 
of  the  Second  Partition  Treaty,1  nor  of  discussing 
whether  the  series  of  provocative  steps  afterwards 
taken  by  him,  which  caused  England  and  Holland 
to  range  themselves  on  the  side  of  the  Emperor, 
who,  without  their  co-operation,  would  have  been 
powerless  to  offer  any  effective  opposition  to  the 
accession  of  Philip  v,  were  merely  the  result  of 
"  the  fumes  of  pride  which  had  mounted  to  his 
brain  and  obscured  his  judgment,"2  as  so  many 
French  writers  would  have  us  believe,  or  "  all 
parts  of  a  definite  policy,  which  arose  out  of  a  sure 
belief  that  war  must  result  from  the  Spanish  Will,"  3 
which  seems  to  be  the  opinion  of  most  English 
historians.  Such  questions  naturally  lie  beyond 
the  scope  of  a  volume  which  is  concerned  mainly 
with  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  and  with  matters 
which  affected  her  more  or  less  directly;  and  we 
shall  therefore  confine  ourselves  to  a  brief  account 
of  the  events  which  led  up  to  the  rupture  of  the 

1  By  the  Second  Partition  Treaty,  which  was  signed  by  England, 
France,  and  Holland  in  May  1700,  the  contracting  parties  agreed 
that,  on  the  death  of  Carlos  11,  the  Due  d'Anjou  should  receive 
the  Two  Sicilies,  the  Tuscan  ports,  Giupuscoa,  and  the  Milanese, 
the  last-named  territory  to  be  handed  over  to  the  Duke  of  Lorraine 
in  exchange  for  Ins  duchy,  which  was  already,  to  all  intents  and 
purposes,  a  French  fief  ;  while  the  Archduke  Charles  was  to  have 
Spain,  the  Spanish  Netherlands,  and  the  Indies. 

2  Comte  d'Haussonville,  la  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  et  V Alliance 
savoyarde  sous  Louis  xiv. 

3  Kitchin,  History  of  France,  vol.  iii. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  257 

peace  of  1696  between  France  and  Savoy  and 
caused  Victor  Amadeus  11  to  return  to  his  old  allies.- 
But,  to  explain  this  more  clearly,  it  will  be 
necessary  for  us  to  go  back  to  the  time  of  the 

The  ambitious  and  enterprising  ruler  of  Savoy 
was  not  the  man  to  stand  aside  when  so  momentous 
a  question  as  the  disposal  of  the  vast  possessions 
of  the  Spanish  crown  was  occupying  the  attention 
of  Europe,  nor  could  it  be  denied  that  he  possessed 
sufficient   reason   to   justify  his   intervention.     He 
was  himself  a  relative  of  Carlos  11,  being  descended 
from    the    Infanta    Catherine,    daughter    of    Philip 
11,  who  had  married,  in   1585,  Charles  Emmanuel 
1,  Duke  of  Savoy ;  and  the  Will  of  Philip  iv,  while 
excluding  his   daughter  Maria  Theresa,    Queen  of 
France,  and  her  children  from  the  succession,  had 
provided  that,  in  the  event  of  the  death  without 
issue  of  his  son  Carlos,  his  third  daughter  Margaret 
Theresa,  wife  of  the  Emperor  Leopold  1,  and  his 
sister    the    Empress    Maria    Anna,    widow    of    the 
Emperor  Ferdinand  ill,  the  crown  should  descend 
to   the   Duchess   of   Savoy.     The    right   of   Philip 
IV  to  dispose  thus  in  advance  of  the  inheritance 
of  his  son  was  disputed,  and,  even  if  it  had  been 
admitted,  there   were,    in   1696,    two  princes  with 
superior  claims  between  Victor  Amadeus  and  the 
succession,  namely,  Joseph  Ferdinand,  the  Electoral 
Prince    of    Bavaria,    and    the    Archduke    Charles. 
Nevertheless,  the  fact  of   the  Duke's  descent  from 
the    Infanta   Catherine   certainly   entitled   him    to 
consideration,   if   the   Powers   of   Europe   were   to 
decide    upon    a   partition    of    the    Spanish    mon- 

258  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

And  the  part  of  the  Spanish  monarchy  which 
he  coveted  was  the  Milanese,  the  great  object  of 
the  ambition  of  his  House  in  those  far-off  days 
before  Savoy  had  felt  the  yoke  of  France.  That 
yoke  once  lifted  and  Pinerolo  and  Casale  wrested 
from  the  grip  of  his  western  neighbour,  Victor 
Amadeus  turned  longing  eyes  towards  the  fertile 
plains  of  Lombardy,  and  in  the  treaty  of  1696 
he  persuaded  Louis  xiv  to  consent  to  the  insertion 
of  a  secret  article,  which  stipulated  that,  "  in  the 
event  of  the  death  of  the  Catholic  King  [Carlos 
11  of  Spain],  without  children,  during  the  course  of 
the  present  war,  his  Most  Christian  Majesty  [Louis 
xiv]  would  undertake  to  render  every  possible 
assistance  to  his  Royal  Highness  [Victor  Amadeus] 
to  obtain  the  Milanese,"  and  that,  "  in  the  event 
of  the  death  of  the  said  Catholic  King,  he  would 
renounce  all  pretensions,  whether  by  conquest  or 
otherwise,  to  the  Duchy  of  Milan."  x 

Although  the  sickly  Carlos  11  survived  the  war, 
and  thus  freed  Louis  xiv  from  the  obligations 
which  this  article  imposed,  Victor  Amadeus  con- 
sidered that  he  still  remained  under  a  kind  of 
moral  obligation  to  secure  the  Milanese  for  his 
nephew,  and  all  his  energies  were  henceforth 
directed  to  obtaining  a  fresh  and  binding  promise. 

However,  for  some  time  he  could  secure  nothing 
more  satisfactory  from  Louis  than  an  assurance 
that,  when  the  death  of  the  King  of  Spain  occurred, 
he  would  "  find  him  favourably  disposed  to  every- 
thing which  might  contribute  to  his  personal 
advantage  "  ;  and  his  indignation  was  intense  when, 

1  Comte  d'Haussonville,  la  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  el  I'alliance 
savoyarde  sous  Louis  xiv. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  259 

in  the  autumn  of  1698,  he  learned  of  the  terms  of 
the  First  Partition  Treaty,  concluded  between 
England  and  France  and  subsequently  ratified 
by  Holland,  whereby  the  Spanish  dominions  were 
divided  between  the  Electoral  Prince  of  Bavaria, 
the  Due  d'Anjou,  and  the  Archduke  Charles,  and 
his  own  claims  were  entirely  ignored.1  Nor  does 
he  appear  to  have  been  at  all  mollified  when  news 
came  that  Carlos  11,  so  far  from  being  grateful 
for  the  forethought  of  their  Majesties  of  England 
and  France  in  drawing  up  his  will  for  him,  had 
answered  the  Partition  Treaty  by  leaving  the 
whole  of  his  possessions  to  the  Electoral  Prince ; 
and  he  intimated  very  plainly  to  the  French 
Ambassador  at  Turin  that,  if  his  master  con- 
templated taking  up  arms  to  oppose  the  Bavarian 
prince's  succession,  he  must  expect  no  help  from 
him.  But  the  death  of  Joseph  Ferdinand,  in 
January  1699,  entirely  changed  the  situation  and 
revived  the  hopes  of  Victor  Amadeus,  who  could 
with  difficulty  conceal  his  joy,  since  he  was  con- 
vinced that,  whether  a  partition  or  a  regular 
succession  was  to  be  the  ultimate  fate  of  the 
Spanish  monarchy,  his  claims  could  now  no  longer 
be  overlooked. 

That  he  had  grounds  for  this  belief  is  proved 
by  the  despatches  of  Louis  xiv  to  Tallard,  the 
French  Ambassador  at  St.  James's,  wherein  he 
suggests  that  Victor  Amadeus  should  have  the 
Two  Sicilies,  in  exchange  for  Nice  and  Savoy,  which 
were  to  be  ceded  to  France,  or  even  the  crown 

1  This  Treaty  stipulated  that  the  Electoral  Prince  was  to  have 
Spain,  the  Spanish  Netherlands,  and  the  Indies  ;  the  Due  d'Anjou 
was  to  receive  the  Two  Sicilies,  the  Tuscan  ports,  Finale,  and  Giu- 
puscoa  ;  and  the  Archduke  Charles,  the  Milanese. 

260  A   ROSE   OF  SAVOY 

of  Spain,  with  the  Indies,  provided  that  Piedmont 
were  also  surrendered. 

But  nothing  came  of  these  proposals,  chiefly 
no  doubt  because  they  tended  to  make  France 
more  formidable  than  ever  to  Austria,  but  also 
because  neither  William  in  nor  the  Emperor  had  for- 
given the  defection  of  Victor  Amadeus  three  years 
before,  and  regarded  with  anything  but  favour 
the  suggested  aggrandisement  of  their  faithless  ally. 

And  so  the  Duke  of  Savoy  had  the  mortifica- 
tion to  find  himself  excluded  from  the  benefits 
of  the  Second  Partition  Treaty,  as  he  had  been 
from  its  predecessor,  and  his  indignation  at  what 
he  considered  to  be  his  betrayal  by  Louis  xiv 
was  in  proportion  to  his  disappointment.  When 
Phelypeaux,  the  French  Ambassador  at  Turin, 
was  instructed  by  his  master  to  obtain  his  ad- 
hesion to  the  treaty,  it  was  refused,  Victor  Amadeus 
observing  ironically  that  he  was  "  too  small  a 
prince  to  enter  into  so  important  an  affair,  in  which 
it  had  not  been  thought  necessary  to  give  him 
either  part  or  portion "  ;  and  the  Ambassador 
wrote  to  Versailles  that  he  was  informed  that  in 
the  privacy  of  his  apartments  the  Duke  had 
abandoned  himself  to  transports  of  rage. 

The  attitude  of  Victor  Amadeus  caused  Louis  xiv 
considerable  uneasiness,  since,  in  view  of  possible 
complications  with  Austria,  it  was  of  the  highest 
importance  to  France  to  be  able  to  count  upon 
the  alliance  of  the  prince  who  held  the  keys  of 
the  Alps.  When,  therefore,  it  was  suggested  that 
he  should  undertake  to  secure  such  amendment  of 
the  Partition  Treaty  as  would  meet  the  Duke's 
wishes  in  regard  to  the  Milanese,  he  lent  a  very 

A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY  261 

favourable  ear  to  the  proposal,  and,  as  the  result 
of  numerous  conferences  between  Torcy  and  Ver- 
none — who  had  been  sent  as  Ambassador  of  Savoy 
to  Versailles  in  the  summer  of  1699 — it  was  arranged 
that  the  Duke  of  Lorraine  should  receive  the  Two 
Sicilies  instead  of  the  Milanese,  which,  it  will  be 
remembered,  was  to  be  the  price  of  the  cession  of 
his  duchy  to  France,  and  that  the  Milanese  should 
be  given  to  Victor  Amadeus,  Louis  xiv  receiving 
in  exchange  Savoy  and  the  county  of  Nice.  An 
alliance  offensive  and  defensive  was  also  to  be 
signed  between  France  and  Savoy. 

Such  an  arrangement  was  not  only  highly 
advantageous  to  the  Duke  of  Savoy,  but  equally 
so  to  France,  since  it  enabled  Louis  xiv  to  extend 
his  frontiers  on  the  south-east,  as  well  as  on  the 
side  of  Germany.  But,  unfortunately,  Victor 
Amadeus,  instead  of  being  satisfied  with  the  pro- 
spect of  realising  the  dream  of  his  ancestors  and 
exchanging  his  thinly-populated  dominions  on  the 
western  side  of  the  Alps  for  the  wealthiest  State 
of  Northern  Italy,  desired  to  get  possession  of 
Montferrato  1  and  Finale  as  well,  and  also  to  retain 
the  valley  of  Barcellonnette,  which  would  give  him 
access  to  France.  These  new  demands  caused  the 
negotiations  to  be  protracted  for  many  months,2 
and,  though,  on  learning  that  the  King  of  Spain  was 
in  extremis,  the  Duke  realised  the  fatal  mistake  he 

1  Montferrato  formed  part  of  the  Duchy  of  Mantua.  Victor 
Amadeus  considered  that  he  had  an  hereditary  claim  upon  it. 

2  Louis  xiv  was  himself  partly  responsible  for  the  delay,  since 
he  desired  Pinerolo  to  be  included  in  the  cession  of  Savoy  and 
Nice,  but  it  was  understood  that  he  would  not  insist  on  this,  if 
Victor  Amadeus  were  prepared  to  surrender  the  valley  of  Bar- 
cellonnette and  withdraw  his  pretensions  to  Montferrato  and 

262  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

had  committed  and  endeavoured  to  repair  it,  it 
was  then  too  late,  and  neither  of  the  treaties  had 
been  signed  when  the  news  of  the  death  and  testa- 
ment of  Carlos  n  reached  Fontainebleau. 

These  events  destroyed  all  hope  of  Victor 
Amadeus  obtaining  the  Milanese  by  the  aid  of 
France,  since  no  sane  person  could  imagine  that 
Louis  xiv  would  be  so  ill-advised  as  to  compel  his 
grandson  to  incur  the  odium  of  his  new  subjects  by 
dismembering  the  Spanish  monarchy,  in  order  to 
satisfy  the  cupidity  of  the  Duke  of  Savoy.  This 
the  French  Ambassador  at  Turin  did  not  fail  to 
point  out  to  the  mortified  prince  ;  but  the  latter 
elected  to  pose  as  a  singularly  ill-used  person,  and 
told  Phelypeaux,  in  very  plain  terms,  that  he 
refused  to  admit  his  Most  Christian  Majesty's  right 
to  repudiate  his  engagements. 

As  the  weeks  went  by,  and  Victor  Amadeus,  not- 
withstanding Louis's  assurance  that  he  would  "lose  no 
opportunity  of  furthering  his  interests"  and  a  promise 
to  secure  the  payment  of  considerable  sums  long  due 
from  Spain  to  Savoy,  declined  to  be  placated,  the 
King  became  seriously  alarmed,  for  the  Imperialists 
were  preparing  to  invade  the  Milanese,  and,  unless 
the  Duke  of  Savoy  were  willing  to  open  the  Alpine 
passes  to  the  French  troops,  the  Spanish  forces 
in  that  State  might  be  completely  crushed  before 
their  allies  could  come  to  their  assistance.  He 
accordingly  directed  Phelypeaux  to  sound  the  Duke 
upon  the  matter,  but  neither  he  nor  Tesse,  who 
visited  Turin  on  his  way  to  Milan  to  confer 
with  the  Prince  de  Vaudemont,1   the  Governor  of 

1  He  was  a  natural  son  of  Charles  iv  of  Lorraine  and  Beatrix 
de  Cantecroix,  and  had  entered  the  service  of  Spain. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  263 

the  Milanese,  in  regard  to  the  approaching  cam- 
paign, were  able  to  obtain  from  him  any  satis- 
factory assurances.  "  The  King  of  France,"  he  told 
Phelypeaux,  "  was  so  powerful  that  he  did  not 
need  his  consent  to  march  his  troops  through  his 
States."  But  when  the  Ambassador  spoke  of  the 
arrangements  necessary  for  provisioning  the  French 
troops  during  their  passage  through  Savoy  and 
Piedmont,  he  replied  angrily  that  he  was  not  an 
army-contractor,  and  that  he  declined  to  concern 
himself  with  such  matters.1 

Greatly  irritated  by  this  response,  and  in  the 
belief  that  Victor  Amadeus  was  meditating,  even 
if  he  had  not  already  begun,  negotiations  with  the 
Emperor,  Louis  xiv  now  directed  Phelypeaux  to 
demand  an  unconditional  passage  for  his  Majesty's 
forces  through  the  Duke's  States,  and  to  offer  him, 
as  the  price  of  his  alliance,  the  marriage  of  his 
second  daughter,  Maria  Luisa,  —  known  as  the 
Princess  of  Piedmont,  then  in  her  thirteenth  year, 
with  the  young  King  of  Spain,  and  the  title  of 
Generalissimo  of  the  French  and  Spanish  troops 
in  Italy  during  the  forthcoming  year,  together  with 
a  subsidy  of  50,000  ecus  a  month,  on  condition  that 
he  placed  3500  cavalry  and  8000  infantry  in  the 

These  propositions  were  very  far  from  satis- 
factory to  Victor  Amadeus,  who  considered  that 
the  services  which  were  in  his  power  to  render 
merited  a  much  higher  recompense  than  a  marriage 
which,  though  flattering  to  his  family  pride,  was 
evidently   intended   to   chain   him   to   the   side   of 

1  Despatch  of  Phelypeaux  to  Louis  xiv,  January  26,  1701,  cited 
by  Haussonville. 

264  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

France  and  Spain  and  destroy  his  hopes  of  terri- 
torial aggrandisement.1  He  therefore  strove  to 
secure  the  insertion  of  a  secret  article  in  the  pro- 
posed treaty  of  alliance,  stipulating  that  if,  at  the 
conclusion  of  the  war,  the  Milanese  were  allotted 
to  France,  any  of  the  Italian  princes,  or  the  Duke 
of  Lorraine,  Louis  xiv  would  secure  its  cession  to 
him,  in  exchange  for  Savoy,  Nice,  and  the  valley 
of  Barcelonnette.  Louis  xiv,  however,  not  only 
expressed  his  inability  to  comply  with  this  demand, 
but  declined  to  hold  out  to  the  Duke  any  hope 
of  an  increase  of  territory  whatever ;  and  the  treaty 
presented  for  his  acceptance  contained  a  clause 
providing  for  the  maintenance  of  the  status  quo 
ante  helium  in  Italy. 

That  in  directing  the  insertion  of  this  clause, 
the  King  committed  a  grave  error  of  judgment 
cannot  be  doubted,  for  Phelypeaux  had  warned 
him  that  the  refusal  of  the  Milanese  would  pro- 
bably result  in  driving  Victor  Amadeus  into  the 
arms  of  the  Emperor,  and  he  could  therefore  have 
been  under  no  illusion  as  to  the  real  sentiments 
of  his  ally.  Nevertheless,  Victor  Amadeus  ac- 
cepted the  terms  offered  him  (April  6,  1701),  since, 
with  the  French  on  one  side  of  him  and  the  Spanish 
forces  in  the  Milanese  on  the  other,  and  the  Im- 
perialists still  on  the  farther  side  of  the  Alps,  to 
refuse  would  have  been  worse  than  folly.  But  he 
did  so  with  a  bitter  heart,  and  with  the  full  deter- 
mination to  turn  his  back  upon  his  allies  the 
moment  his  interests  justified  such  a  step  ;  indeed, 
scarcely  was  the  ink  dry  upon  the  parchment  of 

1  Costa  de  Beauregard,  M&moires  de  la  Maison  de  Savoie. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  265 

the  treaty,  than  he  sent  instructions  to  his  Ambas- 
sador at  Vienna  to  represent  to  the  Emperor 
that  he  had  acted  wholly  under  constraint,  and 
to  pave  the  way  for  the  defection  which  he  medi- 


Life  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  —  Brief  period  of  frivolity, 
terminated  by  the  serious  illness  of  his  wife,  which  he  regards 
as  a  judgment  upon  him — His  increasing  austerity :  renunciation 
of  dancing  and  the  theatre,  and  finally  of  play,  except  for  trifling 
sums — His  piety — His  exaggerated  scruples — Impatience  of  the 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  with  the  conduct  of  her  husband — Extra- 
ordinary diffidence  of  the  duke  towards  women  encourages  her  and 
her  ladies  to  indulge  in  practical  jokes  at  his  expense — Fondness 
of  the  duchess  for  practical  joking — Her  persecution  of  the  Princesse 
d'Harcourt — Beginning  of  hostilities  in  Flanders  and  Alsace — The 
Due  de  Bourgogne  placed  in  nominal  command  of  the  French  army 
in  Flanders  —  His  interview  with  Fenelon  at  Cambrai — First 
campaign  of  the  young  prince — He  is  associated  with  Tallard  in 
the  command  of  part  of  the  Army  of  the  Rhine  ;  but  their  connec- 
tion is  not  a  fortunate  one — The  taking  of  Brisach — The  duke's 
intense  desire  to  see  his  wife  the  true  explanation  of  his  return 
for  Versailles  before  the  conclusion  of  the  campaign — His  pathetic 
letters  from  the  army  to  the  duchess's  confidante,  Madame  de 

THE  life  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  presented  a 
singular  contrast  to  that  of  his  light-hearted 
little  wife.  It  is  true  that  for  the  first 
year  or  two  after  his  emancipation  from  the 
authority  of  his  gouvernear  his  new-found  liberty 
was  not  without  its  attractions,  and  he  availed  him- 
self pretty  freely  of  the  permission  now  accorded 
him  to  participate  in  all  the  pleasures  of  the  Court. 
Thus,  we  hear  of  him  accompanying  his  father 
to  the  Opera,  of  which  Monseigneur  was  a  great 
supporter,  and  even  of  taking  part  in  an  amateur 

performance   of  Lulli's  Alceste  in  the  apartments 


A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  267 

of  the  Princesse  de  Conti ;  of  attending  balls  and 
masquerades,  and  of  winning  and  losing  consider- 
able sums  at  the  card- table. 

But  this  period  of  frivolity  did  not  survive  the 
serious  illness  of  his  wife  in  August  1701,  which 
he  appears  to  have  regarded  as  a  judgment  of 
God  for  having  permitted  himself  to  be  ensnared 
by  worldly  pleasures,  and  a  solemn  warning  to  him 
to  abandon  them  and  allow  nothing  but  religion 
and  duty  to  occupy  his  time  and  thoughts  : — 

"  I  began  to  pray  to  God,"  he  writes  to  Beau- 
villiers  ;  "I  bemoaned  in  His  presence  my  sins, 
for  I  firmly  believe  that  He  was  punishing  me 
for  them  by  this  means.  I  beseeched  Him  to 
cast  on  me  the  burden  of  them  all,  and  to  spare 
this  poor  innocent  ;  and  that,  if  she  had  committed 
any  sins,  to  let  me  bear  the  iniquity  of  them.  He 
had  pity  upon  me,  and,  thank  God,  the  Duchesse 
de  Bourgogne  is  entirely  out  of  danger.  ...  I 
cease  not  to  thank  God  for  this  benefit,  since  it  is 
obvious  that  He  intended  to  punish  me,  but  that 
he  stayed  His  wrath,  and  had  compassion  upon 
me."  x 

From  that  time,  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  gradually 
withdrew  from  the  pleasures  of  the  Court,  and 
lived  a  life  of  increasing  austerity.  He  began 
by  giving  up  dancing  on  the  ground  "  that  it  was 
his  misfortune  to  lack  adroitness  at  that  exercise,"  2 
and  only  appeared  at  those  balls  where  etiquette 
required  him  to  be  present.  Next,  he  ceased  to 
visit  the  Opera  or  the  theatre,  and,   not  content 

1  Marquis  de  Vogue,  le  Due  de  Bourgogne  et  le  Due  de  Beau- 
villiers  (Paris,  1900). 

2  Dangeau. 



with  abstaining  from  this  form  of  amusement 
himself,  endeavoured  to  persuade  those  of  the 
courtiers  with  whom  he  was  most  intimate  to  follow 
his  example.  Finally,  though  not  without  con- 
siderable effort,  since,  like  his  wife,  he  had  caught 
the  gambling  fever  in  a  rather  severe  form,1  he 
resolved  to  renounce  play,  or  rather  those  games 
at  which  the  stakes  generally  ruled  high,  and  to 
confine  himself  to  playing  for  small  sums,  while, 
in  the  event  of  losing,  he  made  a  rule  of  settling 
his  debts  before  leaving  the  table.  As  he  was  a 
very  unlucky  player,  it  was  his  custom  to  select 
his  opponents  from  among  the  poorer  members 
of  the  Court,  to  whom  the  money  they  might  win 
from  him  would  be  of  assistance,  and  thus  his 
gambling  may  be  regarded  as  a  delicate  form  of 

The  only  fashionable  pastimes,  indeed,  in  which 
his    conscience    appears    to    have    permitted    him 

1  Dangeau  tells  us  that  in  1702  the  duke  had  to  apply  to  the 
King  for  money  to  pay  his  card-debts,  and  that  his  Majesty  gave 
him  more  than  he  asked  for,  at  the  same  time  telling  him  "  to  play 
without  anxiety,  since  money  would  not  fail  him." 

2  It  may  seem  at  first  sight  not  a  little  singular  that  the  Due 
de  Bourgogne  should  have  been  able  to  reconcile  gambling  far 
more  easily  with  his  conscience  than  attendance  at  the  play.  But  it 
should  be  remembered  that  to  the  bulk  of  the  French  clergy,  and 
to  many  of  the  devout,  the  theatre  was  anathema  (see  the  author's 
"Queens  of  the  French  Stage");  while  that,  on  the  other  hand, 
the  attitude  of  so  many  worthy  people  to-day,  whose  principles 
will  not  permit  them  to  indulge  in  even  the  most  modest  rubber, 
would  have  been  as  unintelligible  to  a  Frenchman  of  the  early 
eighteenth  century  as  the  idea  that  a  man  should  refuse  to  drink 
a  glass  of  wine,  because  many  of  his  fellows  are  guilty  of  excess  in 
this  respect.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  both  Saint-Simon  and  the  duke's 
two  panegryical  biographers,  Martineau  and  Proyart,  are  fain 
to  admit  that  their  hero  was,  not  only  a  great  eater,  like  all  the 
Bourbons,  but  a  lover  of  good  wine  as  well,  and  that  he  thought  it 
no  sin  to  be  merry  with  his  friends. 

A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY  269 

to  indulge  freely  were  hunting  and  shooting, 
though,  unlike  his  father,  he  took  care  that  his 
love  of  the  chase  should  never  interfere  with  his 
duties,  and  was  so  generous  in  the  matter  of 
compensation  for  any  damage  which  he  or  his 
gentlemen  might  happen  to  commit,  that  it  is  to 
be  feared  that  those  over  whose  land  he  rode  not 
infrequently  took  advantage  of  him. 

Never  since  the  time  of  Louis  xiii  had  the 
Court  of  France  seen  so  pious  a  prince.  He  passed 
hours  every  day  in  prayer  and  in  the  study  of  the 
Scriptures  and  devotional  works  ;  he  composed 
Reflexions  pour  chaque  jour  de  la  semaine ;  he 
was  often  closeted  with  his  confessor  for  a  couple 
of  hours  at  a  time  ;  he  attended  three  services 
on  Sunday,  and  kept  the  day  almost  as  strictly 
as  a  Puritan  ;  he  communicated  every  Sunday  and 
every  Saint's  Day,  always  in  the  splendid  costume 
of  the  Order  of  the  Saint-Esprit,  that  he  might 
do  more  honour  to  the  Sacrament ;  and,  though 
so  fond  of  good  cheer  at  other  seasons,  he  fasted 
in  Lent  until  he  became,  according  to  Madame, 
"  thin  as  a  packing-stick." 

Unfortunately,  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  forgot 
that  the  life  of  a  saint  is  scarcely  compatible  with 
the  duties  of  a  prince,  and  Saint-Simon  deplores 
"  the  ever-increasing  devotion  which  inspired  him 
with  an  austerity  which  went  beyond  all  bounds, 
and  often  gave  him,  without  his  perceiving  it, 
the  air  of  a  censor "  ;  while  his  confessor  and 
biographer,  Pere  Martineau,  admits  that  "  his 
scruples  entailed  inconveniences."  1 

The  duke's  exaggerated  scruples,  indeed,  some- 

1  Pere  Martineau,  Recueil  des  vertus  du  due  de  Bourgogne,  etc. 

270  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

times  rendered  him  ridiculous  in  the  eyes  of  most 
of  the  Court,  and  were  condemned  even  by  his 
devout  friends.  Thus,  on  Twelfth-Night  1702,  he 
declined  to  attend  a  ball  at  which  the  King  had 
expressed  a  desire  that  he  should  be  present,  and 
persisted  in  his  refusal,  although  the  austere 
Beauvilliers  himself  endeavoured  to  persuade  him 
to  waive  his  objections  on  this  particular  occasion, 
out  of  deference  to  his  Majesty's  wishes.1 

The  growing  austerity  of  the  young  prince 
was  scarcely  likely  to  appeal  to  his  merry  little 
consort,  who  was  quite  unable  to  understand 
his  attitude  towards  amusements  which  were 
countenanced  even  by  persons  the  sincerity  of 
whose  religious  convictions  could  not  be  doubted. 
In  the  early  days  of  their  married  life,  she  had 
endeavoured,  though  without  much  success,  to 
sympathise  with  his  serious  views,  and,  if  she 
frequently  rallied  him  upon  his  scruples,  she  at 
heart  respected  them.  But  when  she  found  that 
they  prevented  him  from  accompanying  her  to 
ball  or  play,  and  that  he  preferred  to  spend  long 
hours  in  his  cabinet  in  prayer  and  meditation  to 
joining  in  her  amusements ;  when  she  learned 
from  her  confidantes  that  the  semi-monastic 
existence  which  he  persisted  in  leading  was  a 
subject  of  ridicule  with  the  younger  members  of 
the  Court,  she  became  impatient  and  a  little  con- 
temptuous, and  did  not  hesitate  to  express  openly 
her  opinion  of  such  exaggerated  piety.  "  I 
should  like  to  die  before  the  Due  de  Bourgogne," 
she  observed  one  evening  to  her  ladies,  "  but  to 
see,    nevertheless,    what    would    happen    here.     I 

1  Saint-Simon,  Mimoires. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  271 

am   certain   that   he   would   marry   a   sceur  grise1 
or  a  tourifre  of  the  Filles  de  Sainte-Marie." 

When  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  said  this, 
she  was  no  doubt  referring  more  particularly  to 
the  extreme  reserve  with  which  her  husband 
treated  the  somewhat  coquettish  ladies  by  whom 
he  was  surrounded.  As  though  fearful  lest  he 
should  be  tempted  to  follow  in  the  footsteps  of 
his  father  and  grandfather,  the  duke  avoided 
feminine  society  as  much  as  possible,  and  was 
cold  and  constrained  when  in  the  company  of  all 
ladies,  save  those  whose  age  or  reputation  for 
piety  rendered  them  above  suspicion.  "  He  con- 
sidered himself  at  the  Court,"  writes  the  worthy 
Proyart,  "as  in  the  midst  of  that  voluptuous 
isle  of  which  his  dear  Mentor  had  depicted  the 
dangers.2  He  was  continually  on  his  guard  against 
the  insidious  artifices  of  those  perfidious  nymphs 
who  contended  for  the  glory  of  triumphing  over 
the  virtue  of  Ulysses."3 

The  prince's  diffidence  where  women  were 
concerned  soon  became  a  standing  jest  at  the 
Court,  and  the  ladies  of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne, 
encouraged  by  their  mistress,  frequently  amused 
themselves  by  practical  jokes  at  his  expense. 
One  of  them,  the  Marechale  de  Cceuvres,  once 
attempted  to  snatch  a  kiss  from  his  Royal  Highness. 
The  latter  offered  a  desperate  resistance,  but  the 
marechale,  who  was  a  muscular  young  woman, 
was  not  to  be  denied,  and  was  on  the  point  of 
effecting    her     purpose,    when    the     angry    prince 

1  A  nun  of  the  community  now  known  as  the  Sisters  of  Saint- 

2  The  writer  is  referring  to  Fenelon's  Tttemaqite. 

3  Vie  du  Dauphin,  plre  de  Louis  xv. 

272  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

drew  a  pin  and  drove  it  with  such  force  into  his 
assailant's  head,  that  she  was  compelled  to  keep 
her  bed  for  several  days.  "  Joseph  himself  was 
outdone,"  writes  Madame,  who  tells  the  story, 
"  since  he  saved  himself  by  leaving  his  garment 
behind  him,  but  did  not  strike  or  scratch  any  one. 
Never  was  such  modesty  seen." 

The  same  writer  relates  another  anecdote,  which, 
for  the  sake  of  the  Duchesse  le  Bourgogne's  reputa- 
tion with  posterity,  we  will  hope  contains  at  least 
as  much  fiction  as  fact,  though  it  is  quite  in  keeping 
with  the  character  of  an  age  in  which  coarse  practical 
jokes  were  regarded  as  the  highest  form  of  wit. 

One  night  the  princess,  "  wishing  to  tease  her 
husband  a  little,"  retired  to  rest  at  an  unusually 
early  hour,  on  the  plea  of  feeling  very  sleepy. 
But,  when  she  reached  her  room,  instead  of  getting 
into  bed,  she  directed  one  of  her  friends,  Madame 
de  la  Vrilliere,  a  giddy  young  matron  of  eighteen, 
to  take  her  place,  while  she  and  other  kindred 
spirits  hid  themselves  in  different  parts  of  the 
room  to  await  events. 

Presently  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  arrived,  and, 
anxious  not  to  disturb  his  consort,  who  appeared 
to  be  slumbering  peacefully,  immediately  extin- 
guished his  candle,  undressed,  got  into  bed,  and 
composed  himself  to  sleep.  But,  scarcely  had 
he  done  so,  when,  to  his  amazement,  the  curtains 
were  drawn  aside,  and  the  duchess  stood  beside 
him,  and,  with  admirably-simulated  indignation, 
demanded  an  explanation  of  his  conduct. 

The  poor  prince's  wrath  when  he  recovered 
from  his  first  astonishment,  and  heard  the  tittering 
of    the    concealed   ladies,    knew    no    bounds.     He 

A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY  273 

dragged  the  rash  Madame  de  la  Vrilliere  out  of  bed, 
flung  her  on  to  the  floor,  poured  upon  her  a  torrent 
of  invectives,  "  of  which  '  shameless  hussy '  was 
the  least  strong,"  and  was  proceeding  from  words 
to  blows,  when  she  prudently  took  to  flight. 
"  They  wanted  to  make  him  listen  to  reason," 
concludes  Madame,  "  but  no  one  could  speak  for 

The  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne,  it  may  here  be 
observed,  had  a  weakness  for  practical  jokes, 
particularly  at  the  expense  of  persons  whom  she 
disliked.  One  of  her  favourite  butts  was  the 
Princesse  d'Harcourt,  the  lady  who,  it  will  be 
remembered,  had  endeavoured  to  take  advantage 
of  her  ignorance  when  she  first  began  to  hold 
receptions.  Madame  d'Harcourt  was  one  of  the 
ugliest  women  at  the  Court,  "  a  great  fat  creature, 
with  a  mottled  complexion,  ugly  thick  lips,  and 
hair  like  tow";1  and  her  manners  matched  her 
appearance.  She  cheated  at  cards,  underpaid 
and  beat  her  servants,2  behaved  with  intoler- 
able insolence  to  her  inferiors,  and  often  to  her 
equals  as  well,  and  was  so  gluttonous  as  to  disgust 
those  at  whose  tables  she  dined.  She  was  also  a 
notorious  coward,  and  nothing  diverted  the  younger 
courtiers  more  than  to  devise  some  means  of 
terrifying  her.  One  evening,  at  Marly,  the 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  caused  a  number  of  petards 
to  be  placed  along  the  whole  length  of  the  avenue 

1  Saint-Simon,  Mimoires. 

2  "  She  was  lodged  immediately  above  me,"  writes  Madame, 
"  and  I  often  used  to  hear  her  chasing  the  servants  about  the  room, 
cane  in  hand."  One  day,  however,  one  of  her  maids,  a  sturdy 
peasant-girl,  retaliated  by  wrenching  the  cane  out  of  her  mistress's 
hand  and  administering  a  severe  thrashing. 


274  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

which  led  from  the  chateau  to  the  Perspective, 
where  the  Princesse  d'Harcourt  lodged.  When 
the  lady  in  her  sedan-chair  had  proceeded  a  short 
distance,  the  petards  began  to  explode  on  all  sides, 
upon  which  the  porters,  who  were  in  the  secret, 
dropped  the  chair  and  took  to  flight,  leaving  the 
princess  screaming  with  terror,  to  the  huge  delight 
of  a  number  of  people  who  had  followed  her  to 
enjoy  the  fun.  The  princess  was  furious  at  the 
trick  which  had  been  played  upon  her,  and  sulked 
for  some  time.  So,  as  it  was  winter  and  the  ground 
was  covered  with  snow,  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne 
and  her  ladies  took  to  paying  her  nocturnal  visits 
and  snowballing  her  when  she  was  in  bed.  This 
form  of  pleasantry  proved  too  much  for  Madame 
d'Harcourt's  fortitude,  and,  with  many  tears,  she 
"  asked  pardon  for  having  taken  offence,  and 
begged  that  they  would  cease  to  amuse  themselves 
with  her."  x 

In  April  1702,  hostilities,  which  had  hitherto 
been  confined  to  Italy,  broke  out  in  Flanders 
and  Alsace  as  well,  preceding  by  nearly  a  month 
the  official  declaration  of  war  by  the  Grand  Alliance. 
The  Due  de  Bourgogne  was  naturally  eager  to 
be  given  a  chance  of  winning  his  spurs,  and,  Dangeau 
tells  us,  addressed  to  the  King  a  letter,  in  which 
"  he  besought  his  Majesty  to  permit  him  to  serve 
him,  in  order  that  he  might  render  himself  worthy 
of  the  honour  of  being  his  grandson."  Louis  xiv 
willingly  granted  his  request,  and  gave  him  the 
nominal  command  of  the  Army  of  Flanders,  the 
Marechal  de  Boufflers  being  associated  with  him, 

1  Saint-Simon,  Mdmoires. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  275 

as  he  had  been  in  the  manoeuvres  at  Compiegne 
three  years  before,  to  give  him  the  benefit  of  his 
military  experience. 

The  position  was  not  perhaps  one  which  that 
veteran  greatly  coveted,  since,  if  it  were  a  signal 
proof   of   his    Majesty's   confidence,    the    responsi- 
bilities attached  to  it  were  very  heavy,  while,  in 
the  event  of  the  prince    declining  to   regard   the 
counsels  which  he  gave  him  as  orders,  the  blame 
for   the   disasters   which   might   follow   would   fall 
upon  his  shoulders.     However,  he  was  too  good  a 
courtier    not    to    express    himself    deeply    sensible 
of  the  honour  which  the  King  had  done  him  in 
confiding  to  his  care  "  the  person  and  reputation 
of    Monseigneur   le   Due    de    Bourgogne,"    though 
he   ventured   to   add   that   considerations   of  such 
importance   must   necessarily   render   him   a   little 
more  cautious  than  he  would  otherwise  be.     For 
the    post    of    chief    adviser,    Louis    xiv    selected 
the    Comte    d'Artagnan,    a    nephew    of    the    hero 
of    Dumas' s    immortal    romance,    who,    combined 
with     soldierly    qualities     a     decided     talent    for 
espionnage,1  and  was    charged  by  Chamillart,   the 
Minister  for  War,  to  report  to  him,  not  only  every- 
thing which   his   Royal  Highness  did  in  his  pro- 
fessional capacity,  but  all  his  private  actions,  in 
order  that  he  might  keep  the  King  informed.     His 
Majesty  also  nominated  six  gentlemen  to  act  as 
his  aides-de-camp,  while  the  Marquis  de  Saumery, 
formerly  sous-gouverneur  to  the  young  princes,  was 
attached  to  his  staff. 

These   matters   having   been   settled,    on   April 
25,  1702,  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  bade  a  "  tearful 

1  Saint-Simon,  Mtmoires. 

276  A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

and  tender  farewell  "  *  to  his  wife,  who  was  perhaps 
not  quite  so  inconsolable  at  his  departure  as  we 
should  like  to  believe,  and  left  Versailles  to  join 
the  Army  of  Flanders,  which  was  then  engaged  in 
defending  a  line  which  extended  from  the  sea  to 
Kaiserworth  on  the  Rhine,  a  town  belonging  to 
the  Elector  of  Cologne,  one  of  France's  few  German 
allies,  which  the  Imperialists  were  already  besieging. 

Before  leaving,  he  had  entreated  the  King's 
permission  to  stop  at  Cambrai  and  see  Fenelon,  and 
his  request  had  been  granted,  on  condition  that 
the  interview  should  take  place  in  the  presence  of 
Saumery.  The  archbishop  had  now  been  con- 
fined to  his  diocese  for  nearly  five  years,  during 
which  he  and  his  former  pupil  had  had  no  direct 
communication,  with  the  exception  of  an  exchange 
of  letters  towards  the  end  of  the  previous  year, 
though  they  had  contrived  to  keep  in  touch  with 
each  other  by  the  indirect  channels  of  which  we 
have  spoken  elsewhere  ;  and  their  joy  at  this  brief 
reunion  may  be  imagined. 

The  meeting  took  place  at  the  post-house, 
where  a  large  crowd  had  assembled  to  welcome  the 
prince,  who  greeted  Fenelon  with  a  delight  which 
he  made  no  attempt  to  conceal,  and  embraced  him 
tenderly.  The  presence  of  the  watchful  Saumery, 
who,  according  to  Saint-Simon,  executed  the 
orders  which  he  had  received  from  the  King 
"  with  an  air  of  authority  which  scandalised 
every  one,"  and  never  quitted  the  duke's  side 
for  an  instant,  naturally  prevented  the  discussion 
of  private  matters ;  but  "  the  prince's  piercing 
and  expressive  eyes  expressed  much  more  effectually 

1  Dangeau. 

A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY  277 

than  his  words  what  was  passing  in  his  mind, 
and  the  archbishop,  whose  eyes  were  not  less 
eloquent,  responded  with  all  his  being,  while 
maintaining  the  most  scrupulous  reserve."  The 
interview,  however,  was  a  very  brief  one,  and  at 
its  conclusion  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  resumed  his 
journey,  and  a  few  days  later  arrived  at  Santen, 
a  village  near  the  left  bank  of  the  Rhine,  opposite 
Wesel,  where  the  main  body  of  the  French  army 

In  the  campaign  which  followed,  the  young 
prince  gained  the  good  opinion  of  all  ranks  by 
his  courage  under  fire,  his  zealous  discharge  of 
his  duties,  the  courtesy  and  consideration  with 
which  he  treated  his  officers,  and  the  solicitude 
which  he  displayed  for  the  welfare  of  the  soldiers, 
and  particularly  for  the  wounded  ;  and  the  de- 
spatches of  Bouffiers  and  d'Artagnan  are  full  of  his 
praises.  But  he  gained  nothing  else,  except  ex- 
perience, though  public  opinion,  much  more  just 
to  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  on  this  occasion  than  it 
was  to  show  itself  some  years  later,  readily  ad- 
mitted that  the  failure  to  bring  Marlborough  to  a 
decisive  engagement,  and  the  consequent  loss 
of  Venloo,  Liege,  and  other  towns,  ought  not  to 
be  ascribed  to  him.  When,  therefore,  at  the 
beginning  of  September,  Louis  xiv  recalled  the 
prince  to  Versailles,  the  latter  found  himself  the 
object  of  a  kind  of  ovation,  and,  to  give  him  a 
public  token  of  his  satisfaction,  the  King,  a  few 
weeks  later,  made  him  a  member,  not  only  of  the 
Council  of  Finances,  but  of  the  Council  of  State 
as  well. 

Louis  xiv  did  not  send  his  grandson  again  to 

278  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

Flanders  when  hostilities  recommenced  in  the 
spring  of  1703,  since  his  confidence  in  Boufflers 
had  been  somewhat  shaken  by  the  events  of  the 
previous  year.  He  and  his  Ministers  had  decided 
to  make  a  vigorous  attack  upon  the  Empire,  for 
which  purpose  the  Army  of  the  Rhine  had  been 
divided  into  two  corps.  One  corps  under  Villars, 
recently  created  a  marshal,  in  recognition  of  his 
victory  over  the  Imperialists  at  Friedlingen,  was 
to  cross  the  Rhine,  traverse  the  Black  Forest, 
effect  a  junction  with  Maximilian  of  Bavaria, 
who  had  now  declared  for  France,  and  enter  the 
Tyrol  from  the  North  ;  while  Vendome,  at  the 
head  of  the  Army  of  Italy,  entered  it  from  the 
Lago  di  Garda  on  the  South,  and  united  his  forces 
with  theirs  for  a  combined  advance  upon  Vienna 
by  the  valley  of  the  Danube.  The  other  corps 
under  Tallard,  formerly  French  Ambassador  at 
St.  James's,  who  in  the  following  year  commanded 
the  French  in  the  disastrous  Battle  of  Blenheim, 
was  to  manoeuvre  along  the  Rhine  and  hold  in 
check  the  army  commanded  by  Louis  of  Baden; 
and  with  Tallard  the  King  decided  to  associate 
the  Due  de  Bourgogne. 

He  would  have  better  served  the  duke's 
military  reputation  by  selecting  Villars,  who 
gained  plenty  of  glory,  if  no  lasting  success. 
Tallard  was  but  an  indifferent  general,  and,  unlike 
Boufflers,  he  was  inclined  to  resent  his  nominal 
subordination  to  the  young  prince,  and  to  saddle 
him  with  the  responsibility  for  errors  which  were 
really  his  own.  They  permitted  the  Prince  of 
Baden  to  escape  them,  cross  the  Danube,  take 
Augsburg,  and  threaten   Villars' s   rear,    thus   con- 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  279 

tributing  not  a  little  to  frustrate  that  marshal's 
plans,  and,  though  on  September  6,  thanks  chiefly 
to  Vauban's  skill,  they  succeeded  in  reducing 
Brisach,  after  a  fortnight's  siege,  they  effected 
little  else.  On  the  18th,  the  Due  de  Bourgogne 
quitted  the  army  and  returned  to  Versailles, 
where  he  again  met  with  a  flattering  reception, 
and  the  Court  poets  vied  with  one  another  in 
celebrating  the  taking  of  Brisach. 

Prendre  Brisach  en  treize  jours, 
C'est  une  plus  belle  besogne. 
Ces  exploits  vigoureux  et  courts 
Sont  du  gout  du  Due  de  Bourgogne. 

Saint-Simon  asserts  that  the  prince  had  been 
anxious  to  remain  with  the  army  until  the  termina- 
tion of  the  campaign,  and  that  he  only  quitted  it  in 
deference  to  the  orders  of  the  King.  But  the  Due 
de  Bourgogne's  correspondence  proves  that  he 
did  so  at  his  own  desire,  and  that,  in  point  of 
fact,  he  had  solicited  his  conge  even  before  the 
capitulation  of  Brisach,  stipulating,  however,  that 
he  might  be  permitted  to  rejoin  in  the  event 
of  any  movement  of  importance  being  determined 
upon.  Nor  does  the  same  correspondence  leave 
any  room  for  doubt  as  to  the  reason  which 
prompted  his  return — a  step  which  he  had  soon 
reason  to  regret,  since,  after  his  departure,  Tallard 
gained  a  victory  over  the  Imperialists  at  Speyer, 
which  enabled  him  to  lay  siege  to  and  reduce 

1  According  to  Proyart,  the  duke  had  earnestly  pressed  the 
King  to  permit  him  to  rejoin  the  army,  but  his  Majesty,  learning 
that  he  had  exposed  himself  somewhat  rashly  during  the  siege 
of  Brisach,  refused. 

280  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

"  A  soldier,"  wrote  Napoleon,  in  1801,  to  his 
brother-in-law,  Joachim  Murat,  in  refusing  him 
permission  to  come  to  Paris  for  Caroline  Murat' s 
confinement,  "  ought  to  remain  faithful  to  his 
wife,  but  not  to  wish  to  return  to  her  whenever 
he  thinks  he  has  nothing  else  to  do."  Louis  xiv 
might  have  replied  to  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  in 
similar  terms,  for  it  was  the  young  prince's  intense 
desire  to  see  his  wife  again,  after  what  appeared  to 
him  an  intolerably  long  separation,  which  rendered 
him  comparatively  indifferent  to  the  call  of  duty 
and  the  possibilities  of  glory.  Unfortunately,  none 
of  the  letters  which  he  addressed  to  the  Duchesse 
de  Bourgogne  in  the  course  of  the  campaign  of 
1703  have  been  preserved;  but  we  have,  on  the 
other  hand,  a  number  written  by  him  to  her  dame 
du  palais  and  confidante,  Madame  de  Montgon. 
This  lady  occupied,  in  regard  to  the  young  couple, 
very  much  the  same  position  in  which,  in  years 
gone  by,  the  Marquis  de  Saint-Thomas  had  stood 
to  the  Duchess  of  Savoy  and  Victor  Amadeus,  that 
is  to  say,  she  acted  as  a  kind  of  intermediary 
between  them,  and  was  in  the  habit  of  furnishing 
the  amorous  prince  with  the  information  con- 
cerning his  wife's  health  and  occupations  which 
the  object  of  his  adoration  did  not  condescend  to 
supply  personally.  For  though,  during  the  cam- 
paign of  the  previous  year,  the  Duchesse  de  Bour- 
gogne had  written  to  her  husband  every  day — or, 
at  least,  she  assures  Madame  Royale  that  she  did 
so1 — in  1703  her  letters  appear  to  have  been  like 

1  Letter  of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  to  Madame  Royale, 
June  12,  1702,  Contessa  della  Rocca,  Correspondance  inidite  de 
la  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  et  de  la  Reine  d'Espagne. 



A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY  281 

angels'  visits  ;  and  the  poor  young  man,  aware 
as  he  was  of  her  somewhat  frail  health  and  the 
heavy  demands  she  was  continually  making  upon 
it,  was,  in  consequence,  a  prey  to  the  keenest 
anxiety.  His  letters  to  Madame  de  Montgon* 
indeed,  are  an  eloquent  and  pathetic  testimony 
to  the  sincerity  of  a  passion  which  met  as  yet  with 
but  a  feeble  response.  Here  is  one  which  he 
wrote  on  June  12,  a  fortnight  after  leaving  Ver- 
sailles, in  which  he  complains  that  his  wife  has 
allowed  an  "  interminable  time  "  to  pass  without 
writing  him  more  than  a  couple  of  letters : 

"  I  am  astonished,  Madame,  at  not  having  yet 
received  anything  from  you,  and  still  more  at  the 
irregularity  of  your  illustrious  mistress,  who  allows 
an  interminable  time  to  pass  without  writing  to 
me  more  than  two  letters.  ...  I  know  not  whether 
I  shall  weary  you  by  returning  to  my  sheep,  but 
you  can  well  understand  that  I  must  say  a  few 
words  about  this  irregularity.  I  have  decided  not 
to  begin  by  reproaching  her  ;  nevertheless,  I  am 
unable  to  bear  this  with  patience,  and  I  was  really 
angry  yesterday  evening  at  not  receiving  any  letters 
by  the  courier  who  arrived  from  Franche-Comte. 
I  would  that  you  had  seen  me  at  supper,  looking 
as  gloomy  as  a  chimney,  speaking  to  no  one,  with 
my  hat  pulled  down  to  my  eyes. 

"  Make  my  compliments  to  your  mother,2  from 
whom  I  have  been  expecting  a  letter  every  day, 

1  These  letters,  which  are  now  in  the  possession  of  the  Marquis 
de  Montgon,  a  descendant  of  the  lady  to  whom  they  were  addressed, 
have  been  published  by  the  Marquis  de  Vogue,  in  his  interesting 
work,  le  due  de  Bourgogne  et  le  due  de  Beauvilliers,  and,  in  part,  by 
the  Comte  d'Haussonville  in  la  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  et  I' Alliance 
savoy arde  sous  Louis  XIV. 

2  Madame  d'Heudicourt,  the  old  friend  of  Madame  de  Main- 

282  A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

and,  as  for  the  other  naughty  one  of  whom  I  have 
spoken,  tell  her  that,  if  in  future  I  do  not  receive 
letters  from  her  more  often,  I  shall  quarrel  with 
her,  and  shall  not  write  to  her  during  the  whole 

"  P.S. — I  greatly  fear  that  these  threats  will  be 
useless,  since  I  should  certainly  be  more  severely 
punished  than  she." 

In  one  of  her  rare  moments  of  tenderness  for  her 
absent  husband,  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  had 
charged  Madame  de  Montgon  to  send  him  a  letter 
written  in  the  princess's  own  blood.  The  uxorious 
duke  was  transported  with  joy  on  receiving  what 
he  considered  so  convincing  a  proof  of  his  beloved's 
affection,  and  hastened  to  reply  in  like  fashion, 
bidding  Madame  de  Montgon  assure  her  mistress 
that  he  had  "  kissed  a  thousand  times,  and  would 
continue  to  kiss  several  times  a  day,  the  adorable 
blood  he  had  received  "  ;  that  he  had  not  lost  a 
moment  in  drawing  some  of  his  own,  and  that  he 
would  gladly  shed  every  drop  in  his  body  for  her, 
as  the  princess  had  declared  that  she  was  prepared 
to  do  for  him.     He  continues  : — 

"  But  we  must  preserve  it  for  each  other,  and 
unite  our  hearts,  like  those  which  I  have  sketched 
here,  with  my  own  blood  drawn  from  the  fingers  of 
my  left  hand. 

"  This  letter,  as  well  as  the  little  sketch,  is 
scrawled  entirely  with  the  blood  which  love  caused 
me  to  shed  on  the  instant,  only  too  happy  to  have 
shed  it  for  her  : — 

"Quoy  done!   voila  le  sang  qui  colore  ses  joues, 
C'est  luy  qui  la  fait  vivre  et  qui  jusqu'  en  ses  yeux 
Met  le  feu  qui  me  rend  amant  et  bienheureux, 
Qui  dans  trois  mois  au  plus  fera  tourner  mes  roues. 

A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY  283 

Gardez-le  done  ce  sang,  ce  thresor  precieux, 

Pour  vous  le  mien  est  prest  a  couler  dans  ces  lieux, 

Car,  en  cherchant  icy  la  gloire, 

C'est  votre  cceur  dont  je  veux  la  victoire. 

"  You  must  promise  me  faithfully  to  carry  this 
letter  to  her  so  soon  as  you  receive  it.  Endeavour 
to  see  her  in  private.  Go  on  your  knees  before  her, 
and,  after  kissing  both  her  hands  for  me,  offer  her 
the  blood  which  has  been  shed  for  her  alone.  I 
know  not  whether  you  will  entertain  doubts  about 
my  sanity  ;  but  can  I  do  enough  to  prove  to  this 
queen  how  much  I  love  her,  although  she  is  already 
well  aware  of  it  ?  Let  me  know  how  she  has 
received  the  commission  I  am  entrusting  to  you, 
and  her  very  words,  and  ask  her,  at  the  same  time, 
if  she  does  not  love  me  with  all  her  heart,  and  if  I 
deserve  it.  Farewell,  my  dear  Montgon.  If  some 
further  extravagance  comes  into  my  mind  between 
now  and  this  evening,  when  the  post  leaves,  I  shall 
add  it  to  this  letter." 

Some  further  extravagance  did  occur  to  him, 

and  he  adds  the  following  postscript : — 

"  6  p.m. 
"  The  more  I  think  of  it,  the  more  delighted  I 
am  with  the  idea  of  your  having  written  to  me 
with  the  blood  of  the  beloved  one.  But  I  should 
have  liked  two  lines  in  her  own  handwriting  ;  not 
because  I  believe  that  she  does  not  think  of  it,  but 
because  the  letter  would  have  been  more  tender 
and  more  touching.  But  make  her  clearly  under- 
stand that  the  blood  which  she  will  see  has  not  been 
shed  by  the  orders  of  any  doctor,  and  sent  by 
chance,  but  for  her  alone,  and  in  the  tender  emotion 
of  my  heart,  which  has  prevented  me  from  feeling 
the  little  injury  I  have  done  myself.  .  .  .  Farewell, 
my  dear  Montgon,  I  thank  you  a  thousand  times 

284  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

for  the  ingenious  letter  which  you  have  written  me, 
and  I  shall  keep  it  all  my  life,  for  the  sake  of  the 
precious  ink  which  has  been  used  ;  and  I  shall  love 
you  more  sincerely  than  ever." 

But,  if  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  were  ready 
to  shed  a  little  of  her  blood  *  in  order  that  Madame 
de  Montgon  might  write  to  her  husband,  she  seems 
to  have  had  a  singular  objection  to  penning  even 
the  briefest  epistles  herself ;  for,  a  little  later,  we 
find  the  Duke  complaining  bitterly  to  the  con- 
fidante that,  though  he  has  despatched  six  letters 
to  his  wife  within  the  past  week,  five  successive 
couriers  have  arrived  without  a  line  from  the 
princess,  "  a  proof  that  she  had  not  written  to  him 
for  at  least  nine  days." 

"...  I  should  be  very  much  tempted  to  write 
to  her  no  more  until  I  have  received  some  letters, 
and  even  to  discontinue  writing  for  some  time.  But 
if,  on  her  side,  she  did  the  same,  I  should  be  a 
hundred  times  more  punished  than  she  would  be, 
since  she,  apparently,  no  longer  cares  at  all  for  me, 
who  would  not  hesitate  to  shed  my  blood  in  order 
to  give  her  a  fresh  proof  of  a  love  of  which  she  can 
entertain  no  doubt  ;  who  would  expose  myself  to 
frightful  perils  for  her  sake  ;  who  would  sacrifice 
everything  for  her.  These  are  my  sentiments,  and 
I  am  sure  that  she  understands  them  perfectly. 
Could  I  deserve  more  to  be  loved  and  to  be  less 
worthy  of  the  forgetfulness  and  coldness  which  I 
have  suffered  for  eleven  whole  days  ?  It  would  be 
in  truth  far  too  much  for  a  heart  less  tender  and 

1  The  Marquis  de  Vogue  rather  unkindly  suggests  that  the 
"  adorable  blood  "  had  been  drawn  by  the  princess's  physician, 
for  reasons  quite  unconnected  with  her  Royal  Highness's  corre- 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  285 

faithful  than  mine.  I  say  nothing  of  the  promise 
which  she  made  me  on  my  departure,  to  write  to 
me  at  least  twice  a  week  ;  but,  even  if  she  were  not 
bound  by  her  word,  ought  she  not  to  do  so  of  her 
own  free  will  ?  Ask  her  again  for  me,  I  entreat  you, 
the  reason  why  she  does  not  write  ;  whether  it  is 
that  she  is  angry  with  me,  in  which  case  tell  her 
that  I  shall  endeavour  to  make  amends  as  soon  as 
possible  ;  whether  my  frequent  letters  weary  her  ; 
finally,  if  she  is  tired  of  being  so  passionately  be- 
loved, and  if  she  speaks  the  truth  when  she  says 
that  she  loves  me  with  her  whole  heart.  But, 
above  all,  do  not  send  an  answer  to  this  letter 
without  a  little  line  in  her  handwriting  at  the  foot ; 
for,  if  there  is  none,  I  shall  be  in  despair,  and  shall 
believe  in  good  earnest  that  she  does  not  care  for 
me  any  more.  I  ask  your  pardon  if  I  speak  so 
much  of  her,  but  she  occupies  my  mind  more  than 
ever,  and  it  seems  that  her  neglect  serves  but  to 
increase  my  ardour.  ..." 

As  this  touching  appeal  failed  to  bring  the  little 
lines  for  which  he  craved,  he  wrote  again  to  Madame 
de  Montgon,  bidding  her  remind  "  this  coquette  " 
that,  even  at  the  very  moment  in  which  she  was 
speaking  to  her,  the  duke  might  be  risking  his  life 
in  the  trenches,  "  into  which  the  cannon  and 
musket-shot  were  constantly  falling,  and  where  the 
dead  and  wounded  were  all  about  him."  And  he 
concludes  : — 

"  Picture  to  her  also  the  arrival  of  a  courier 
with  the  news  that  I  am  dangerously  wounded,  in 
which  condition  my  only  thought  would  be  that  I 
might  perhaps  never  see  her  again,  and  that,  in 
dying,  I  should  regret  no  one  in  this  world  save 
her.     I  think  that  it  will  be  well  for  you  to  read 

286  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

this  passage  to  her,  in  order  to  tell  me  exactly 
what  you  may  be  able  to  divine  of  the  sentiments 
of  her  heart,  from  the  effect  which  it  produces  upon 
her  outwardly." 

As  the  campaign  proceeded,  the  letters  of  the 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  became  less  and  less  fre- 
quent, and  at  length  she  allowed  so  long  a  time  to 
elapse  without  writing  to  him,  that  the  poor  prince 
began  to  fear  that  she  was  seriously  ill,  and  that 
Madame  de  Montgon  and  his  other  correspondents 
at  the  Court  were  conspiring  together  to  keep  him 
in  ignorance.  Tormented  by  this  idea,  he  writes  to 
Madame  de  Montgon  : — 

"  If  anything  were  to  happen  in  conformity 
with  my  gloomy  presentiments,  I  should  take  a 
walk  along  the  palisades  of  the  covered  way,  to 
find  there  the  end  of  my  sorrows  ;  and  I  should 
think  myself  fortunate,  if  she  were  ill,  to  get  some 
bullet-wound  which  would  reduce  me  to  the  same 

When  the  princess  did  eventually  break  through 
her  long  silence,  it  was  to  advise  her  husband  to 
remain  with  the  army  instead  of  returning  to 
Court.  On  September  12,  the  Due  de  Bourgogne 
writes  to  his  ex-gouvemeur,  the  Due  de  Beau- 
villiers  : — 

"  I  received  this  morning  also  a  long  letter 
from  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne,  in  which  she 
begins  by  telling  me  that  she  has  not  written 
sooner,  because  she  was  too  angry,  and  then,  after 
having  exhorted  me  not  to  hasten  my  return  like 
last  year,  she  continues  as  follows :  '  The  King 
has  been  greatly  surprised  that  you  are  so  soon 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  287 

demanding  permission  to  return,  as  the  campaign 
is  not  yet  very  far  advanced,  and  you  are  still 
engaged  in  the  siege  [of  Brisach],  and  this  inclines 
him  to  think  that  you  do  not  care  for  war  any 
more  than  the  others,  and  has  annoyed  him  very 
much,  which  you  will  apparently  understand,  from 
the  letter  that  he  has  written  to  you.'  I  confess 
that  this  has  caused  me  some  surprise,  since  I  have 
found  nothing  to  correspond  to  it  in  the  King's 
letters.   .  .  ."  ! 

A  subsequent  chapter  will  explain  the  true 
reason  of  the  princess's  silence,  and  why  she  had 
so  little  desire  to  see  the  return  of  this  too-devoted 
husband  ;  and  it  was  certainly  just  as  well  for  the 
Due  de  Bourgogne's  peace  of  mind  that  he  was  un- 
aware of  it. 

1  Marquis   de   Vogue,  le  Due  do  Bourgogne  et  le  Due  de  Beau- 


Impatience  of  Louis  xiv  to  see  a  son  born  to  the  Due  and 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne — Severe  regime  imposed  upon  the  young 
princess  when  she  becomes  enceinte  in  the  autumn  of  1703 — Birth 
of  the  first  Due  de  Bretagne  (June  24,  1704) — Marriage  of  the 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne's  younger  sister,  Maria  Luisa  of 
Savoy,  Princess  of  Piedmont,  to  Philip  v  of  Spain — The  war 
in  Italy  :  Victor  Amadeus  11  generalissimo  of  the  Army  of  the 
Two  Csowns — Consequences  of  his  delay  in  joining  the  army  and 
the  want  of  unanimity  between  him  and  the  French  and  Spanish 
generals — Villeroy  supersedes  Catinat — Defeat  of  the  allies  at 
Chiari — The  Duke  of  Savoy  suspected  of  having  betrayed  the 
plans  of  the  allies  to  the  Imperialists — His  indignation  at  the 
insolent  familiarity  of  Villeroy — Failure  of  negotiations  between 
France  and  the  Duke  of  Mantua  for  the  cession  of  Montferrato 
to  Savoy — Offers  of  the  Emperor  to  Victor  Amadeus — Philip  v 
in  Italy — Refusal  of  the  King  of  Spain  to  accord  his  father-in- 
law  the  honours  due  to  an  equal  removes  the  Duke's  last  scruples 
about  breaking  with  his  allies — Successes  of  Vendome  in  Italy — 
Negotiations  of  Victor  Amadeus  with  Vienna — Louis  xiv,  convinced 
of  his  treasonable  intentions,  orders  Vendome  to  take  vigorous 
measures  against  him — Victor  Amadeus  deserts  his  allies,  and  signs 
a  treaty  with  the  Emperor 

ALTHOUGH  the  Due  and  Duchesse  de  Bour- 
gogne had  now  lived  together  for  nearly 
four  years,  the  primary  object  of  their 
marriage  still  remained  to  be  accomplished.  Louis 
xiv,  who  desired  to  see  the  succession  to  the  throne 
in  the  direct  line  secured  against  all  possibility 
of  failure — and  it  must  be  admitted  that  the 
successive  deaths  of  Monseigneur,  the  Due  de 
Bourgogne,    the    second   little    Due    de    Bretagne, 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  289 

and  the  Due  de  Berry,  in  the  closing  years  of  his 
reign,  fully  justified  an  anxiety  which  in  1703  may 
have  appeared  to  many  persons  unwarranted — 
was  becoming  very  impatient  ;  and  his  impatience 
was  sensibly  increased  by  the  fact  that  in  the 
spring  of  1701,  and  again  in  the  summer  of  the 
following  year,  the  princess  had  been  enceinte, 
and  that  on  each  occasion  his  hopes  had  been 
disappointed,  through  her  refusal  to  comply  with 
the  commonest  precautions. 

However,  soon  after  her  husband's  return  to 
Versailles  in  the  autumn  of  1703,  the  young  lady 
was  once  more  in  an  interesting  condition,  and  this 
time  his  Majesty  determined  that  the  most  severe 
regime  should  be  imposed  upon  her,  in  order  to 
guard  against  a  fresh  accident.  Not  only  were 
hunting,  dancing,1  and  every  amusement  which 
entailed  exertion  strictly  forbidden,  but,  when 
she  drove  out,  her  coachmen  had  orders  to  avoid 
paved  roads  and  to  walk  their  horses  the  greater 
part  of  the  way ;  while,  about  three  months 
before  she  expected  her  confinement,  Clement, 
the  accoucheur  to  whose  care  she  had  been  en- 
trusted, finding  that  she  was  not  progressing  as 
satisfactorily  as  he  could  desire,  ordered  her  to  bed, 
where,  in  spite  of  her  indignant  protests,  she  was 
condemned  to  pass  the  remainder  of  the  time. 

These  somewhat  excessive  precautions  did  not 
go  unrewarded,  and  on  the  afternoon  of  June  24, 
1704,    "  at   one   minute   and   a   half   after   five,"  2 

1  As  the  princess's  medical  advisers  feared  that  during  the 
coming  Carnival  she  might  insist  on  dancing,  in  defiance  of  their 
prohibition,  the  King  gave  orders  that  during  that  festive  season 
no  balls  were  to  be  given  at  the  Court. 

a  Dangeau. 


290  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  gave  birth  to  a  son, 
to  the  great  joy  of  the  whole  Court.  Louis  xiv 
stationed  himself  at  the  foot  of  the  bed  from  the 
moment  when  the  pains  of  labour  began  until  the 
princess  was  delivered,  as  he  had  done  for  the 
late  Dauphine  ;  but  the  Due  de  Bourgogne,  unable 
to  bear  the  sight  of  his  wife's  sufferings,  remained 
in  his  cabinet  until  his  brother,  the  Due  de  Berry, 
brought  him  the  glad  news.  The  infant  prince, 
to  whom  the  King  gave  the  title  of  the  Due  de 
Bretagne,  was  baptized  at  once  by  the  Cardinal 
de  Coislin,  Bishop  of  Orleans,  assisted  by  the 
cure  of  Versailles,  after  which  he  was  wrapped 
in  his  swaddling-clothes  and  carried  by  the  Mare- 
chale  de  la  Mothe,  gouvemante  of  the  Children  of 
France,  to  his  father,  who  kissed  him.  A  sedan- 
chair  was  then  brought  to  the  door  of  the  bed- 
chamber, and  the  marechale,  with  the  child  in 
her  arms,  entered  it,  and  was  conveyed  to  the 
apartments  which  had  been  prepared  for  the 
newcomer,  to  whom,  a  little  later  in  the  evening, 
the  King  sent  the  cross  and  blue  ribbon  of  the 
Order  of  the  Saint-Esprit.  Then  his  Majesty  and 
the  Due  de  Bourgogne  went  to  the  chapel  to  return 
thanks  to  God,  and  remained  there  in  prayer  for 
three-quarters  of  an  hour.1 

The  birth  of  her  little  son  must  have  been 
doubly  welcome  to  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne, 
since  it  occurred  at  a  time  when  she  stood  in  sore 
need  of  something  to  divert  her  thoughts  from  an 
event  which  was  causing  her  great  distress. 

It  will  be  remembered  that,  at  the  beginning 

1  Mercure  de  France,  June  1704. 

A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY  291 

of  April  1701,  Victor  Amadeus  11  had  signed  the 
treaty  which  Louis  xiv  had.  so  to  speak,  offered 
him  at  the  sword's  point,  though  with  the  full  deter- 
mination to  desert  his  allies  so  soon  as  he  could 
obtain  satisfactory  terms  from  the  Emperor.  A 
month  later,  he  received  a  formal  demand  from 
Philip  v  of  Spain  for  the  hand  of  his  daughter, 
the  Princess  of  Piedmont,  to  which  he,  of  course 
returned  a  favourable  answer.  But,  at  the  same 
time,  he  charged  his  Ambassador  at  Vienna  to 
inform  the  Emperor  that  he  was  not  a  free  agent 
in  the  matter,  and  that,  had  he  been  at  liberty  to 
choose  a  husband  for  his  daughter,  he  would  have 
infinitely  preferred  an  alliance  between  her  and  the 
Archduke  Charles. 

The  young  princess  was  thirteen  years  of  age, 
two  years  older  than  her  sister  Adelaide  at  the 
time  when  the  latter  left  Turin  for  France.  In 
appearance  she  was  not  unlike  the  Duchesse  de 
Bourgogne,  but  possessed  of  far  greater  ability 
and  strength  of  character ;  and,  young  as  she  was, 
she  already  gave  promise  of  the  qualities  which 
were  to  make  her  the  right  arm  of  her  feeble  and 
indolent  husband  and  the  idol  of  the  Spanish 

The  marriage  was  celebrated  by  proxy,  at 
Turin,  on  September  12,  1701,  the  old  Prince  di 
Carignano  representing  Philip  v  ;  and  the  same 
day  the  young  queen  set  out  on  her  journey  to 

Since  early  summer,  hostilities  had  been  in  pro- 
gress in  Northern  Italy,  where  Prince  Eugene 
with  some  thirty  thousand  Imperialists  was  pitted 
against   a   composite   force   of   French,   Spaniards, 

292  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

and  Savoyards,  which  is  usually  designated  as 
the  Army  of  the  Two  Crowns.  The  French  were 
commanded  by  Catinat,1  the  Spaniards  by  the 
Prince  de  Vaudemont,  Governor  of  the  Milanese ; 
while  Victor  Amadeus,  in  accordance  with  the 
treaty  of  the  previous  April,  was  invested  with  the 
title  of  generalissimo.  The  responsibilities  of  the 
last-named  seem  to  have  sat  very  lightly  upon  him, 
for  his  troops  did  not  begin  to  put  in  an  appearance 
until  the  patience  of  his  allies  was  almost  exhausted, 
and  then  only  by  single  battalions  at  a  time,  while 
he  himself,  in  spite  of  the  urgent  representations 
of  the  French  Ambassador  at  Turin,  invented  so 
many  pretexts  to  delay  his  departure  for  the 
front,  that  that  personage  began  to  entertain 
serious  doubts  as  to  whether  he  intended  to  go  at 

So  consummate  a  general  as  Eugene  did  not 
fail  to  profit  by  these  delays.  In  the  first  days  of 
July,  he  advanced  towards  the  Adige,  routed  a 
French  division  at  Carpi,  forced  the  passage  of 
the  river,  and  made  himself  master  of  the  whole 
country  between  the  Adige  and  the  Adda.  Nor 
did  the  situation  improve  when  Victor  Amadeus 
at  length  arrived  upon  the  scene,  for  neither  Catinat 
nor  Vaudemont  were  inclined  to  place  any  con- 
fidence in  his  judgment,  and  the  want  of  unanimity 
between  the  three  generals  enabled  Eugene  to 
outmanoeuvre  them,  cross  the  Adda,  and  push 
his  advance-posts  to  the  frontiers  of  the  Milanese, 
without  firing  a  shot. 

Louis  xiv,  much  irritated  by  these  reverses, 
now  resolved  to  replace  Catinat  by  Villeroy,  who 

1  Prior  to  the  arrival  of  Catinat,  Tesse  had  held  the  command. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  293 

was  one  of  his  Majesty's  favourite  generals,  though 
quite  unworthy  of  the  confidence  reposed  in  him. 
But  there  seems  to  be  no  truth  in  the  charge  made 
in  the  so-called  Memoires  of  Catinat,  and  repro- 
duced by  Michelet  and  other  historians,  that  the 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  had  persuaded  the  King 
to  this  step,  because  in  his  despatches  to  Versailles 
the  marshal  had  accused  her  father  of  treason  ; 
and  Catinat,  at  his  own  request,  was  permitted  to 
serve  under  the  orders  of  Villeroy. 

With  the  arrival  of  Villerov,  matters  went  from 
bad  to  worse.  The  marshal  had  received  orders 
from  Louis  xiv,  who  appears  to  have  imagined 
that  he  could  direct  operations  quite  effectively 
from  his  cabinet  at  Versailles,  to  assume  the 
offensive,  and,  contrary  to  the  advice  of  his  old 
colleagues,  he  insisted  on  attacking  the  Imperialists, 
who  were  strongly  entrenched  at  Chiari  (September 
9,  1701).1  The  result  was  a  disastrous  defeat  for 
the  allies,  in  which  Catinat  was  wounded,  and  the 
Duke  of  Savoy,  whose  coldness  in  the  Bourbon  cause 
did  not  prevent  him  from  displaying  great  bravery 
and  leading  a  charge  in  person,  had  his  horse  killed 
under  him  and  his  uniform  pierced  by  musket-balls. 

After  this  reverse,  the  Army  of  the  Two  Crowns 
was  compelled  to  fall  back  into  the  Milanese,  and 
the  whole  of  the  Duchy  of  Mantua,  with  the  excep- 
tion of  the  capital  and  Goito,  passed  into  the  hands 
of  Eugene,  whose  information  concerning  the  move- 
ments of  the  allies  was  declared  by  the  French 
to    be    so     extraordinarily    accurate,     that    they 

1  When  Victor  Amadeus  protested  against  this  rash  under- 
taking, Villeroy  answered  insolently  that  "  the  King  of  France  had 
not  sent  so  many  brave  warriors  to  the  Army  of  Italy  to  observe 
the  enemy  through  field-glasses." 

294  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

were  forced  to  the  conclusion  that  there  must  be 
treachery  at  work. 

If  we  are  to  believe  the  Memoires  of  Catinat, 
that  marshal  did  not  hesitate  to  express  this  opinion 
openly,  and  one  day,  at  a  council  of  war,  looked 
the  Duke  of  Savoy  in  the  face  and  observed : 
"  Not  only  is  Prince  Eugene  kept  informed  of  the 
movements  of  our  army,  of  the  strength  of  the 
detachments  which  leave  it,  and  of  their  destina- 
tion, but  he  is  even  acquainted  with  the  projects 
which  are  discussed  here." 

This  anecdote,  which  has  been  reproduced,  with- 
out comment,  in  a  recently-published  biography 
of  Victor  Amadeus,  to  which  we  have  several 
times  had  occasion  to  refer,1  seems  of  very  doubtful 
authenticity,2  since,  as  the  Comte  d'Haussonville 
points  out,  the  despatches  of  Catinat  are  char- 
acterised, where  the  Duke  of  Savoy  is  concerned, 
by  great  reserve.  Moreover,  while  Villeroy  and 
Tesse  suspected  Victor  Amadeus,  Phelypeaux,  the 
French  Ambassador  at  Turin,  who  had  accom- 
panied the  Duke  to  the  army,  and  Louis  xiv 
believed  the  Prince  de  Vaudemont,  who  had  a 
son  and  a  nephew  with  Eugene,  to  be  the  traitor ; 
and  the  King  gave  instructions  for  him  to  be 
closely  watched.  The  probability  is  that  both 
were  innocent  of  any  military  treason,  and  that 
the  reverses  of  the  Army  of  the  Two  Crowns  are 

1  The  Marchesa  di  Vitelleschi,  "  The  Romance  of  Savoy :  Victor 
Amadeus  and  his  Stuart  Bride." 

2  Villeroy  wrote  in  almost  identical  language  to  Louis  xiv  in  a 
despatch  of  September  25,  1701,  though  without  actually  naming 
the  Duke  of  Savoy.  It  is  possible  that  the  compiler  of  Catinat's 
MSmoires  was  acquainted  with  this  document,  and  put  Villeroy's 
words  into  the  mouth  of  his  hero. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  295 

sufficiently  explained  by  the  jealousy  and  in- 
capacity of  its  leaders  and  the  immeasurable 
superiority  of  Eugene  as  a  general.1 

However  that  may  be,  it  is  certain  that  the 
Duke  of  Savoy's  dislike  of  the  alliance  which  had 
been  forced  upon  him  had  been  greatly  increased 
since  the  arrival  of  Villeroy,  who  addressed  the 
prince  habitually  as  "  Monsieur  de  Savoie  "  and 
treated  him  with  the  most  insolent  familiarity. 
He  complained  bitterly  to  Phelypeaux  of  the 
conduct  of  the  marshal,  and,  to  mark  his  dis- 
pleasure, sent  his  troops  into  winter-quarters  even 
before  the  conclusion  of  the  campaign,  and  re- 
turned to  Turin. 

Louis  xiv,  warned  by  Phelypeaux  that,  if 
matters  continued  to  go  badly  in  Italy,  the  Duke 
of  Savoy  would  certainly  change  sides,  began  at 
last  to  recognise  the  necessity  of  attaching  his 
slippery  ally  to  his  cause  by  some  surer  tie  than 
that  of  the  treaty  of  the  previous  April,  and 
accordingly  permitted  negotiations  to  be  opened 
with  a  view  to  obtaining  from  the  Duke  of  Mantua 
the  cession  of  Montferrato  to  the  Kings  of  France 
and  Spain,  and  subsequently  to  Victor  Amadeus, 
in  return  for  a  money  indemnity.  This  affair 
dragged  on  for  some  months,  but  without  result, 
since,  though  the  Duke  of  Mantua  was  only  a 
little  prince,  he  was  a  very  proud  one,  and  he 
declared  that  no  sum  which  their  Majesties  might 
offer  could  induce  him  to  part  with  any  portion 
of  his  dominions.2 

1  Comte  d'Haussonville,  la  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  et  I' Alliance 
savoyarde  sous  Louis  xiv. 

2  This  decision  was  the  more  creditable  to  him,  since,  if  we 
are  to  believe  Tesse,  he  kept  no  less  than  three  hundred  and  sixty- 

296  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

It  was,  of  course,  open  to  Louis  xiv  to  compel 
the  Duke  to  accede  to  his  wishes,  but  Mantua  was 
an  old  ally  of  France,  and  the  idea  of  employing 
coercion  was  distasteful  to  him;  and  he  therefore 
forbore  to  press  the  matter. 

He  would  probably  have  been  less  complaisant, 
if  he  had  been  aware  that  simultaneously  with  this 
negotiation  the  Duke  of  Savoy  had  been  carrying 
on  one  with  the  Emperor,  and  that,  almost  at  the 
same  moment  that  Victor  Amadeus  was  informed 
of  the  refusal  of  the  Duke  of  Mantua,  he  had 
received  from  Leopold,  who  cared  nothing  for  the 
interests  of  that  prince,  a  promise  of  Montferrato, 
with  the  addition  of  the  rich  province  of  Ales- 
sandria, in  return  for  his  desertion  of  the  Bourbon 

The  Duke  of  Savoy  had  now  no  longer  any 
inducement  to  remain  faithful  to  his  engagements, 
save  that  natural  reluctance  to  join  the  party 
opposed  to  his  two  sons-in-law  to  which  Louis  xiv 
seems  to  have  attached  an  altogether  exaggerated 
importance.  But,  unhappily  for  his  Majesty's 
calculations,  an  incident  which  occurred  in  the 
summer  of  1702  served  to  remove  any  scruples 
that  Victor  Amadeus  might  have  entertained  on 
that  score. 

In  April,  the  new  King  of  Spain,  recognising 
the  necessity  of  making  himself  known  to  his 
Italian  subjects,  and  stimulating  by  his  presence 
the  zeal  of  the  Spanish  troops  in  Italy,  sailed  for 
Naples,  and,  after  taking  formal  possession  of  his 

eight  mistresses,  and  must  therefore  have  been  often  pressed  for 
money.  Tesse  adds  that,  notwithstanding  his  amative  propen- 
sities, he  was  "  a  pious  and  charitable  prince." 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  297 

Kingdom  of  the  Two  Sicilies,  proceeded  to  the 
Milanese.  A  meeting  between  Philip  v  and  his 
wife's  family  was  arranged,  and  the  Duke  and 
Duchess  of  Savoy  and  Madame  Royale  set  out  for 
Alessandria,  where  the  two  princesses  remained, 
while  the  Duke  went  on  to  Acqui,  a  little  town 
some  miles  distant,  to  meet  his  royal  son-in-law. 

Now,  when  this  interview  was  first  proposed, 
Victor  Amadeus,  through  his  Ambassador  at  Ver- 
sailles, had  endeavoured  to  enlist  the  good  offices 
of  Torcy,  the  French  Minister  for  Foreign  Affairs, 
to  obtain  from  Philip  v  a  promise  that  he  would 
accord  his  father-in-law  the  honours  due  to  a 
sovereign,  as  Philip  11  had  done  to  the  Duke's 
ancestor  Charles  Emmanuel  1,  when  he  journeyed 
to  Spain  to  wed  Catherine  of  Austria.  Torcy,  how- 
ever, had  excused  himself  from  intervening,  on 
the  ground  that  he  could  not  presume  to  regulate 
the  ceremonial  of  a  foreign  Court.  Nevertheless, 
in  view  of  the  precedent  we  have  mentioned,  their 
relationship,  and  their  alliance,  the  Duke  of  Savoy 
fully  expected  to  be  received  as  an  equal. 

Nothing  occurred  at  the  first  interview  between 
the  two  sovereigns  to  destroy  this  illusion.  The 
King  of  Spain  alighted  from  his  carriage  and 
embraced  his  father-in-law  warmly,  regretted  that 
the  carriage  in  which  he  was  travelling  was  too 
small  for  him  to  be  able  to  offer  him  a  seat,  but 
invited  him  to  sup  with  him  in  the  evening  ;  and 
the  Duke  departed,  convinced  that  his  dignity 
was  safe. 

But,  when  supper-time  arrived,  he  found  that 
he  was  mistaken,  for  though  two  arm-chairs  exactly 
similar  to  one  another  had  been  placed  side  by 


side,  it  was  the  one  on  the  left  hand  and  not  that 
on  the  right — the  place  of  honour,  which  a  sovereign 
always  offered  to  a  guest  whom  he  desired  to  treat 
as  an  equal — which  was  reserved  for  him. 

Bitterly  mortified,  Victor  Amadeus  excused 
himself  from  remaining  to  supper,  on  the  plea  of 
indisposition,  and  almost  immediately  withdrew ; 
and,  when,  on  arriving  at  Alessandria  on  the  fol- 
lowing day,  Philip  v  aggravated  this  affront  by 
advancing  two  paces  only  from  the  threshold  of 
his  apartment  to  receive  the  Duchess  of  Savoy  and 
Madame  Roy  ale,  his  wrath  against  his  son-in-law- 
knew  no  bounds.1 

From  that  moment,  his  last  lingering  scruples 
vanished,  and,  if  he  delayed  an  open  rupture  with 
his  allies  for  some  time  longer,  it  was  simply  be- 
cause the  course  of  the  war  in  Northern  Italy 
rendered  it  advisable  for  him  to  wait  upon  events. 
For,  in  February  1702,  the  incapable  Villeroy  had 
been  succeeded  by  the  Due  de  Vendome,  a  general 
of  a  verv  different  stamp,  of  whom  we  shall  have 
occasion  to  speak  at  length  later  on,  who  relieved 
Mantua,  checked  Eugene's  victorious  career  in  the 
obstinate  battle  of  Luzzara,  compelled  the  Im- 
perialists to  fall  back  behind  the  Mincio,  and  held 
them  in  check  during  the  whole  of  the  campaigns 
of  1702  and  1703. 

Victor  Amadeus  took  no  part  personally  in 
either  of  these  campaigns,  but  remained  at  Turin, 
and  devoted  his  energies  to  endeavouring  to  wrest 

1  Yet,  with  characteristic  dissimulation,  he  wrote,  a  day  or 
two  later  to  his  daughter,  the  Queen  of  Spain,  that  he  had  "  been 
charmed  by  the  obliging  manner  in  which  he  [the  King]  had  spoken 
to  him,  and  that  he  regretted  having  been  compelled  to  leave  him 
so  soon." 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  299 

still  more  favourable  terms  from  the  Emperor  ; 
while,  at  the  same  time,  he  again  approached 
Louis  xiv  on  the  old  question  of  the  cession  of  the 
Milanese  in  exchange  for  Savoy  and  Nice. 

According  to  the  Italian  historian,  Denina, 
the  Cabinet  of  Vienna,  which,  since  the  arrival  of 
Vendome  in  Italy,  had  become  increasingly  anxious 
to  detach  Victor  Amadeus  from  his  allies,  had  re- 
course to  a  ruse  in  order  to  effect  its  purpose  : 
"  Letters  and  documents  addressed  to  the  Court 
of  Turin,  and  explaining  the  measures  which 
would  be  taken  to  put  the  Duke  of  Savoy  in 
possession  of  three  towns  of  Lombardv.  were 
entrusted  to  a  Neapolitan.  This  messenger  had 
orders  to  allow  himself  to  be  captured  by  the 
French,  and,  on  seeing  these  despatches,  the 
King  of  France,  ignorant  of  the  ruse,  did  not 
doubt  that  the  alliance  had  been  ratified."  x 

Whatever  truth  there  may  be  in  this  story,  it  is 
certain  that  the  Emperor's  agents  did  endeavour 
to  force  the  Duke's  hand  by  spreading  reports  that 
he  had  joined  the  Grand  Alliance,  and,  in  the 
second  week  in  September,  Louis  xiv,  convinced 
that  he  had  betrayed  him — or,  at  least,  was  on  the 
point  of  doing  so — sent  orders  to  Vendome  to 
surround  and  disarm  the  Piedmontese  contingent 
of  6000  men,  then  encamped  at  San-Benedetto, 
near  Pavia,  and  conduct  them  as  prisoners  to  the 
fortress  of  Fenestrella  ;  which  done,  he  was  to 
demand  from  Victor  Amadeus  the  surrender  of 
Vercelli  and  Coni,  as  places  of  surety  for  his  loyalty, 
and,  in  case  of  refusal,  to  invade  Piedmont. 

Victor   Amadeus' s   reply   to    the    disarmament 

1  Cited  by  Faverges,  Anne  a  Orleans. 

3oo  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

of  his  troops  was  to  arrest  every  Frenchman  in  his 
States,  including  the  Ambassador  Phelypeaux, 
who  was  condemned  to  detention  in  the  French 
Legation,  and  to  despatch  envoys  to  every  Court 
in  Europe  to  denounce  what  he  stigmatized  as  a 
violation  of  the  law  of  nations. 

Meanwhile,  Vendome  had  advanced  to  the 
frontiers  of  Piedmont ;  l  but  the  necessity  of  detach- 
ing a  considerable  part  of  his  forces  to  hold  the  Im- 
perialists in  check  rendered  it  dangerous  for  him 
to  attempt  an  invasion  until  reinforcements  arrived 
from  France.  Victor  Amadeus  did  not  neglect  to 
profit  by  the  inaction  of  the  French  general  to  push 
on  his  negotiations  with  Vienna,  and  on  November 
8,  1703,  a  treaty  was  signed  at  Turin  between  him 
and  the  Emperor,  whereby,  in  consideration  of 
the  Duke's  adhesion  to  the  Grand  Alliance,  Ales- 
sandria, Montferrato,  the  Lomellina,  and  the  valley 
of  the  Sesia  were  ceded  to  him,  and  guaranteed  by 
England  and  Holland,  while  all  conquests  which 
might  be  made  in  the  course  of  the  war  in  Dau- 
phine  and  Provence  were  to  remain  in  his  pos- 

1  Several  writers  speak  of  a  plot  organised  by  Vendome  to 
seize  and  carry  off  Victor  Amadeus  while  he  was  hunting  in  the 
neighbourhood  of  II  Veneria,  which,  however,  was  discovered  and 
checkmated  ;  but  that  such  a  step  was  ever  contemplated  is  more 
than  doubtful. 


Distress  of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  at  the  defection  of 
Victor  Amadeus  n — Her  apprehensions  that  the  conduct  of  her 
father  may  affect  her  own  position  prove  to  be  unfounded — 
Saint-Simon's  portrait  of  the  princess — Imprudence  of  the  Duchesse 
de  Bourgogne  in  her  relations  with  the  opposite  sex — She  falls  in 
love  with  the  Marquis  de  Nangis — Embarrassing  position  in  which 
this  nobleman  finds  himself  between  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne 
and  his  mistress,  Madame  de  la  Vrilliere — The  princess,  piqued 
by  Nangis's  hesitation  to  take  advantage  of  his  good  fortune, 
encourages  the  Marquis  de  Maulevrier — Nature  of  the  latter's 
relations  with  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  considered — Maulevrier 
feigns  illness  in  order  to  remain  at  Court — His  mad  conduct — 
Alarm  of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne — Maulevrier  is  persuaded  to 
go  to  Spain,  but  his  indiscretions  at  Madrid  necessitate  his  recall 
to  France — The  Abbe  de  Polignac  first  favourite  with  the  princess 
— Fury  of  Maulevrier,  who  bombards  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne 
with  threatening  letters — His  tragic  end — Grief  of  the  princess — 
Polignac  is  sent  to  Rome 

THE  suspicions  concerning  the  loyalty  of 
Victor  Amadeus  which  had  been  openly 
expressed  at  Versailles  for  some  months 
preceding  his  defection  had  not  failed  to  reach 
the  ears  of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne,  and  had 
occasioned  the  young  princess  the  keenest  distress ; 
and,  when  she  learned  of  the  orders  which  had 
been  sent  to  Vendome,  she  was  "in  a  state  of 
despair  which  was  apparent  to  the  eyes  of  every 
one."  1  For  this  strange  man,  so  indifferent  to 
the  first  duties  of  a  husband  and  a  father,  so  cold, 

1  Vernone  to  the  Duke  of  Savoy,  October  10,  1703. 


302  A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

capricious,  and  secretive,  had,  nevertheless,  the 
gift  of  inspiring  affection.  By  his  neglected  wife, 
as  we  have  seen,  he  was  passionately  beloved,  and 
both  his  daughters  seemed  to  have  cherished  for 
him  a  warm  attachment. 

Nor  were  her  fears  for  the  future  of  her 
father  and  her  family  at  Turin  the  sole  cause 
of  her  distress.  She  was  greatly  alarmed  lest 
the  rupture  between  the  country  of  her  birth 
and  that  of  her  adoption  might  affect  her 
own  position,  and  saw  herself  in  a  kind  of 
semi-disgrace,  like  the  late  Dauphine,  when  her 
brother,  the  Elector  of  Bavaria,  had  turned  his 
arms  against  France,  the  object  of  covert  sneers 
and  contemptuous  glances.  What  a  terrible  pros- 
pect for  one  who  for  nearly  six  years  had  been 
the  joy  of  the  King  and  the  idol  of  the  Court ! 

She  was  soon  reassured  on  that  score,  for  Louis 
xiv's  attachment  to  the  girl  was  far  too  strong 
for  him  to  permit  her  to  suffer  for  the  conduct  of 
her  father ;  and,  to  testify  that  his  feelings  towards 
her  had  undergone  no  change,  and,  at  the  same 
time,  to  divert  her  thoughts  from  the  events  which 
were  passing  in  Italy,  he  multiplied  the  balls  and 
fetes  which  afforded  her  so  much  pleasure,  and 
those  which  followed  the  birth  of  the  little  Due  de 
Bretagne  were  of  the  most  brilliant  description. 

That  the  defection  of  Victor  Amadeus  should 
have  been  powerless  to  injure  his  daughter's 
position  at  the  French  Court  is  scarcely  a  matter 
for T surprise,  when  we  pause  to  consider  to  what 
an  unprecedented  degree  of  favour  the  young 
princess  had  now  attained.  But,  to  appreciate 
this,  let  us  turn  to  that  wonderful  physical  and 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  303 

moral  portrait  by  Saint-Simon,  which,  though  it 
may  be  familiar  to  some  of  our  readers,  will  none 
the  less  bear  reproduction : 

"  Gentle,  timid,  but  adroit,  unwilling  to  give 
the  slightest  pain  to  any  one  ;  all  lightness  and 
vivacity,  and,  nevertheless,  capable  of  far-reaching 
views  ;  constraint,  even  to  the  point  of  annoyance, 
cost  her  no  effort,  though  she  felt  all  the  burden 
of  it.  Complaisance  was  natural  to  her,  flowed 
from  her,  and  was  bestowed  on  every  member 
of  the  Court. 

"  Regularly  plain,  with  pendant  cheeks,  a 
forehead  too  prominent,  thick  biting  lips  ;  hair 
and  eyebrows  of  dark  chestnut,  and  well  planted ; 
the  most  eloquent  and  the  most  beautiful  eyes  in 
the  world ;  few  teeth,  and  those  all  decayed, 
about  which  she  was  the  first  to  talk  and  jest ;  the 
most  beautiful  complexion  and  skin  ;  not  much 
bosom,  but  what  there  was,  admirable  ;  the  throat 
long,  with  the  suspicion  of  a  goitre,  which  did  not 
ill  become  her  ;  a  carriage  of  the  head  gallant, 
graceful,  majestic,  and  the  manner  the  same, 
the  smile  most  expressive ;  a  figure  long,  round, 
slender,  easy,  perfectly  shaped ;  the  walk  of  a 
goddess  upon  the  clouds — she  pleased  to  a  super- 
lative degree.  Grace  accompanied  her  every  step, 
her  manners,  and  her  most  ordinary  conversa- 
tion. An  air  always  simple  and  natural,  often 
rather  naive,  but  seasoned  with  wit,  aided  by  that 
ease  peculiar  to  her,  charmed  all  who  approached 
her,  and  communicated  itself  to  them.  Her  gaiety 
(youthful,  quick,  active),  animated  everything,  and 
her  nymph-like  lightness  carried  her  everywhere, 
like  a  whirlwind  which  fills  several  places  at  once, 

304  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

and  gives  them  movement  and  life.  She  was  the 
ornament  of  all  diversions,  the  life  and  soul  of  all 
pleasure.  .  .  . 

"  She  spared  nothing,  not  even  her  health,  to 
gain  Madame  de  Maintenon,  and,  through  her,  the 
King.  Her  suppleness  towards  them  was  un- 
paralleled, and  was  never  for  a  moment  at  fault. 
She  accompanied  it  with  all  the  discretion  that 
her  knowledge  of  them,  which  she  had  acquired 
by  study  and  experience,  had  given  her,  and  could 
measure  their  dispositions  to  an  inch.  In  this  way 
she  had  acquired  a  familiarity  with  them  such 
as  none  of  the  King's  children  had  approached. 
In  public,  grave,  reserved  with  the  King,  and 
timidly  decorous  with  Madame  de  Maintenon,  whom 
she  never  addressed  except  as  ma  tante,  thus  prettily 
confounding  affection  and  respect  ;  in  private, 
prattling,  skipping,  flying  round  them ;  now 
perched  upon  the  arms  of  their  chairs,  now  playing 
upon  their  knees,  she  clasped  them  round  the 
neck,  embraced  them,  kissed  them,  rumpled  them, 
tickled  them  under  the  chin,  tormented  them, 
rummaged  their  tables,  their  papers,  their  letters, 
broke  open  the  seals  and  read  the  contents  in  spite 
of  their  resistance,  if  she  perceived  that  her  pranks 
were  likely  to  be  received  in  good  part. 

"  The  King  really  could  not  do  without  her. 
Everything  went  wrong  with  him  if  she  were  not 
present ;  even  at  his  supper,  if  she  were  absent, 
an  additional  cloud  of  seriousness  and  silence 
settled  upon  him.  She  took  great  care  to  see  him 
every  day ;  and,  if  some  ball  in  winter,  some 
pleasure-party  in  summer,  caused  her  to  lose 
half  the  night,  she  nevertheless   arranged  matters 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  305 

so  well  that  she  went  and  embraced  the  King 
the  moment  he  was  awake,  and  amused  him  with 
an  account  of  the  fete." 

Idolised  by  Louis  xiv  and  Madame  de  Main- 
tenon,  she  was  scarcely  less  beloved  by  the  Court, 
certain  members  of  the  Royal  Family  and  their 
satellites  alone  excepted.  For  she  never  used 
her  favour  with  the  King  to  the  detriment  of  any 
one  ;  but,  on  the  contrary,  was  always  ready  to 
plead  the  cause  of  those  who  had  been  so  un- 
fortunate as  to  incur  the  royal  displeasure.  "  She 
was  gracious  to  all ;  she  wished  to  please  even  the 
most  useless  and  the  most  ordinary  persons ; 
and  you  were  tempted  to  believe  her  wholly  and 
solely  devoted  to  those  with  whom  she  happened 
to  be.  She  was  the  darling  of  the  Court,  adored 
by  all ;  everybody,  great  and  small,  was  anxious 
to  please  her,  everybody  missed  her  when  she 
was  away ;  when  she  reappeared,  the  void  was 
filled.  In  a  word,  she  had  attached  all  hearts  to 
her."  * 

If  Victor  Amadeus  had  led  an  invading  army 
to  the  gates  of  Paris,  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne 
would  still  have  reigned  supreme  over  the  heart 
of  the  old  King,  still  have  been  the  idol  of  the 
Court.  To  resist  so  bewitching  a  young  creature 
was  an  impossibility. 

Naturally,  the  young  princess  did  not  lack 
for  admirers  in  other  than  a  platonic  sense. 
Naturally,  too,  she  was  not  altogether  insensible 
to  the  admiration  which  she  read  in  so  many 
eyes — admiration  which  needed  but  a  little  com- 
plaisance on  her  part  to  declare  itself  in  a  bolder 

1  Memoires. 

306  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

fashion.  For  a  time,  however,  scandal  found 
nothing  substantial  to  lay  hold  of.  The  girl  had 
received  an  excellent  moral  training  at  Turin, 
and  again  at  Saint-Cyr,  and,  if  she  did  not  exactly 
love,  she  was,  at  least,  fond  of  her  husband,  and 
anxious  to  please  him,  which  served  at  first  to 
counteract,  in  some  degree,  the  baneful  effects  of 
the  empty,  frivolous  life  which  she  led  and  the 
constant  adulation  of  which  she  was  the  object. 
Nevertheless,  shrewd  observers,  like  Madame,  did 
not  fail  to  perceive  that  the  lady  was  by  no  means 
as  prudent  as  could  be  desired  in  her  relations  with 
the  opposite  sex,  and  that  the  day  might  not  be 
far  distant  when  she  would  have  cause  to  regret 
it.  Thus,  so  early  as  April  1701,  we  find  that 
princess  writing  to  the  Electress  of  Hanover  : — 

"The  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  is  very  intelli- 
gent, but  she  is,  as  every  young  person  would 
be  who  had  been  allowed  such  great  liberty, 
extremely  coquettish  and  giddy.  If  she  had  been 
with  people  who  would  have  exercised  over  her 
the  control  which  she  needed,  one  might  have  been 
able  to  make  something  good  of  her  Highness,  but 
I  fear,  from  the  way  she  is  allowed  to  behave,  that 
many  little  stories  will  come  to  light." 

Possibly,  Madame  would  have  been  wrong,  and 
there  would  have  been  no  "  little  stories,"  if  the 
too-sensitive  conscience  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne 
had  not  driven  him  to  a  semi-renunciation  of 
the  world,  and  to  spend  in  devotion  and  conversa- 
tion with  his  confessor  hours  which  might  have 
been  more  suitably  employed  in  looking  after  his 
young  wife,   sharing   her  harmless   pleasures,   and 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  307 

endeavouring  to  inspire  her  with  a  taste  for  some 
useful  occupation.  But  the  worthy  youth  was 
too  short-sighted,  too  self-centred,  to  recognise 
the  probable  consequences  of  his  conduct ;  and  the 
princess,  resenting  her  husband's  lack  of  interest 
in  her  amusements,  and  mortified  by  the  merriment 
which  his  asceticism  aroused  among  her  thoughtless 
companions,  began  to  find  indifference  and  some- 
thing like  contempt  replacing  the  affectionate 
regard  she  had  hitherto  entertained  for  him ; 
took  more  and  more  pleasure  in  the  homage  which 
was  so  freely  offered  her,  and  finally  entered 
upon  the  dangerous  path  of  flirtation,  which 
promised  her  a  new  and  agreeable  form  of  excite- 

"  The  Due  de  Bourgogne,"  writes  Madame,  in 
1703,  "is  so  steeped  in  devotion  that,  in  my 
opinion,  he  will  become  stupid  from  it.  .  .  .  His 
wife  is  mischievous  and  coquettish;  she  will 
furnish  him  matter  for  mortification." 

One  of  the  most  fascinating  cavaliers  of  the 
Court  at  this  time  was  the  Marquis  de  Nangis, 
who,  though  only  about  the  same  age  as  the  Due 
de  Bourgogne,  was  already  a  past-master  in  the 
art  of  gallantry.  His  popularity  with  the  ladies 
was  immense.  To  an  agreeable,  if  not  strikingly 
handsome  face,  a  fine  figure,  and  charming  manners, 
he  joined  a  reputation  for  great  personal  courage, 
which  he  had  gained  during  the  campaigns  of  1701 
and  1702,  and  "a  discretion  which  was  beyond  his 
years,  and  did  not  belong  to  his  time."  x 

In  the  early  summer  of  1703,  soon  after  the 

1  Saint-Simon. 

3o8  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

Due  de  Bourgogne  had  left  Versailles  to  take  up 
his  command  on  the  Rhine,  Nangis,  who  had 
been  serving  in  Flanders  under  Villars,  and  had 
been  ill  or  slightly  wounded,  was  invalided  home, 
to  the  great  joy  of  the  ladies  of  the  Court,  who 
vied  with  one  another  in  their  efforts  to  beguile 
the  tedium  of  his  convalescence. 

It  was  now  that  he  appears  to  have  first  attracted 
the  attention  of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne, 
who  could  not  help  contrasting  the  handsome, 
soldierly  young  marquis,  who  seemed  to  have 
not  a  care  in  the  world,  and  was  never  so  happy 
as  when  he  was  paying  agreeable  compliments 
to  pretty  women,  with  her  grave,  reserved,  and 
deformed  husband,  with  results  that  were  far  from 
nattering  to  the  absent  prince. 

According  to  Saint-Simon,  who,  as  we  have 
observed  elsewhere,  is  generally  trustworthy  enough 
when  he  feels  compelled  to  relate  the  pecca- 
dilloes of  his  friends,  the  first  advances  came 
from  the  princess  herself,  in  the  form  of  certain 
"  speechless  messages,"  which  a  gentleman  of  M. 
de  Nangis' s  experience  in  affairs  of  the  heart  could 
scarcely  fail  to  interpret  correctly. 

He,  on  his  part,  was  not  ungrateful,  but 
decidedly  alarmed,  since  he  was  at  that  moment 
engaged  in  a  liaison  with  Madame  de  la  Vrilliere, 
the  heroine  of  the  not  very  creditable  incident 
mentioned  in  a  previous  chapter,1  and  the  lady 
in  question  showed  not  the  slightest  intention  of 
resigning  her  conquest.  Indeed,  the  moment  that 
jealousy  had  enlightened  her  as  to  what  was  taking 
place,  it  became  doubly  precious  in  her  estimation, 

1  See  p.  272,  supra. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  309 

and  she  intimated  to  the  marquis  that  he  would 
abandon  her  at  his  peril. 

The  hapless  Nangis  found  himself  in  a  most 
embarrassing  situation,  and,  for  the  first  time  in 
his  life,  began  to  wish  that  he  was  a  trifle  less 
irresistible.  "  He  dreaded  the  fury  of  his  mistress, 
who  pretended  to  be  more  ready  to  make  a  com- 
motion than  she  really  was  ;  and,  apart  from  his 
love  for  her,  he  feared  the  result  of  a  scandal,  and 
already  saw  his  fortune  lost.  On  the  other  hand, 
any  reserve  on  his  part  towards  a  princess  who 
had  so  much  power  in  her  hands,  who  one  day 
would  be  all-powerful,  and  who  was  not  likely 
to  yield  to  or  even  to  suffer  a  rival,  might 
be  his  ruin."  *  Was  ever  a  gallant  so  distracted 
before  ? 

While  Nangis  was  racking  his  brains  to  discover 
some  way  of  escape,  the  two  ladies  disputed  for  his 
possession,  Madame  de  la  Vrilliere  conducting  herself 
with  bitterness,  and  sometimes  insolence  towards 
her  royal  rival,  who,  on  her  side,  "  gently  manifested 
her  displeasure."  No  wonder  that  the  poor  Due 
de  Bourgogne's  letters  from  the  army  remained 
unanswered  while  his  wife's  attention  was  con- 
centrated upon  this  singular  duel ! 

The  affair  was  soon  the  talk  of  the  Court,  or, 
at  least,  of  all  who,  like  Saint-Simon,  "  made  it 
their  special  ambition  to  be  well  informed  of  every- 
thing"; but,  whether  from  fear  of  incurring  the 
princess's  resentment,  or,  more  probably,  from  the 
affection  which  they  entertained  for  her,  the  gossips 
seem  to  have  exercised,  on  this  occasion,  a  most 
commendable  restraint,  and  no  hint  of  what  was 

1  Saint-Simon. 

3io  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

in  progress  was  allowed  to  reach  the  King  or 
Madame  de  Maintenon. 

And  now  a  new  actor  made  his  appearance  upon 
the  scene.  Piqued  apparently  by  Nangis's  hesi- 
tation to  take  advantage  of  his  good  fortune, 
the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  resolved  to  excite 
his  jealousy  by  encouraging  a  rival,  and  selected  for 
the  purpose  Francois  fidouard  Colbert,  Marquis 
de  Maulevrier,  a  nephew  of  the  famous  Minister, 
and  a  son-in-law  of  her  first  equerry,  Tesse. 

Maulevrier,  who,  like  Nangis,  was  still  in  his 
premiere  jeunesse,  and,  like  him,  had  served  with 
some  distinction  in  the  Army,  where  he  had  just 
been  made  brigadier  of  infantry,  could  not  lay 
claim  to  the  elegance  of  that  redoubtable  squire  of 
dames,  being,  indeed,  a  very  commonplace-looking 
young  man.  But,  en  revanche,  he  was  clever, 
witty,  fertile  in  resource,  enterprising,  and  intensely 
ambitious.  He  was  also  more  than  a  trifle  mad, 
and  needed  little  to  render  him  altogether  irre- 
sponsible for  his  actions,  though,  as  is  frequently 
the  case  in  the  early  stages  of  insanity,  his  disorder 
revealed  itself  in  an  audacity  and  a  cunning  which 
often  proved  of  considerable  assistance  to  his 
ambitious  projects. 

Overjoyed  at  the  prospect  of  a  bonne  fortune 
which  would  make  him,  he  believed,  the  most 
envied  of  men,  Maulevrier  hesitated  not  a  moment. 
Through  his  relationship  to  Tesse  and  his  wife's 
intimacy  with  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne,  he 
enjoyed  easy  access  to  the  princess,  and  at  once 
began  to  pay  her  the  most  assiduous  court.  The 
latter,  somewhat  alarmed  by  his  boldness,  pre- 
tended    to    misunderstand    him,    whereupon    he 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  311 

addressed  to  her  eloquently-reproachful  letters,  to 
which  she  had  the  imprudence  to  reply.  The 
intermediary  was  Madame  Quantin,  the  princess's 
first  femme  de  chambre,  who  appears  to  have  been 
under  the  impression  that  the  letters  which  her 
mistress  handed  to  her  came  from  Tesse,  and  that 
those  which  Maulevrier  wrote  were  intended  for  his 

This  affair,  like  the  other,  was  soon  an  open 
secret,  but  was  treated  with  the  same  discretion. 
According  to  Saint-Simon,  there  were  not  wanting 
persons  who  believed  that  matters  did  not  stop  at 
flirtation,  but  this  seems  highly  improbable.  In 
the  first  place,  it  is  doubtful  whether  the  princess 
ever  really  cared  for  Maulevrier,  though  his 
audacity  amused  her,  and  she  found  it  not  un- 
pleasant to  be  the  recipient  of  a  kind  of  homage 
from  which  her  exalted  station  had  hitherto  de- 
barred her.  In  the  second,  she  was  far  too  closely 
guarded  and  watched,  not  only  by  her  ladies,  who 
might  perhaps  have  been  a  little  inclined  to  com- 
plaisance, but  by  the  Swiss  spies  who  roamed 
day  and  night  through  the  palaces  and  gardens 
of     Versailles,     Marly,     and     Fontainebleau,1     to 

1  "  The  King,  more  anxious  to  know  everything  that  was  passing 
than  most  people  believed,  although  they  credited  him  with  not  a 
little  curiosity  in  this  respect,  had  authorised  Bontemps  [his  con- 
fidential valet  de  chambre]  to  engage  a  number  of  Swiss,  in  addition 
to  those  posted  at  the  gates  and  in  the  parks  and  gardens.  These 
attendants  had  orders  to  roam,  morning,  noon,  and  night,  along  the 
corridors,  the  passages,  and  the  staircases,  and,  when  it  was  fine, 
in  the  courtyards  and  gardens,  and  in  secret  to  watch  people,  to 
follow  them,  to  notice  where  they  went,  to  notice  who  was  there, 
to  listen  to  all  the  conversations  they  could  hear,  and  to  make  reports 
of  their  discoveries.  This  was  done  at  Versailles,  at  Marly,  at  Trianon, 
at  Fontainebleau,  and  in  every  place  where  the  King  happened  to 
be. ' ' — Sain  t-Simon. 

3i2  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

have  been  able  to  grant  a  rendezvous  to  any 
member  of  the  opposite  sex,  without  the  King 
being  immediately  aware  of  it.  Nevertheless, 
however  innocent  she  may  have  been,  she  was  soon 
to  discover  that — to  parody  Chateaubriand's 
aphorism — while  the  sins  of  a  private  individual 
may  go  unpunished  till  the  next  world,  the  indiscre- 
tions of  royalty  are  invariably  punished  in  this, 
and  to  receive  a  sharp  lesson  on  the  danger  of 
young  princesses  playing  with  fire. 

The  favour  shown  by  the  Duchesse  de  Bour- 
gogne  to  Maulevrier  put  an  end  to  the  hesitations 
of  Nangis,  who  could  not  endure  the  sight  of 
another  aspiring  to  the  place  which  he  felt  to  be 
rightly  his  ;  and,  braving  the  wrath  of  Madame 
de  la  Vrilliere,  he  too  entered  the  lists.  His 
opposition  greatly  incensed  and  alarmed  Maule- 
vrier, who,  to  get  the  better  of  his  rival,  bethought 
himself,  if  we  are  to  believe  Saint-Simon,  of  a 
singular  stratagem.  This  was  to  feign  an  affection 
of  the  chest,  which  deprived  him  almost  entirely 
of  the  use  of  his  voice,  and  prevented  him  from 
speaking  above  a  whisper.  By  this  means,  he  not 
only  escaped  active  service,  and  was  permitted  to 
remain  at  Court,  but  enjoyed  facilities  for  the  most 
intimate  conversation  with  the  Duchesse  de  Bour- 
gogne,  without  exciting  the  least  suspicion. 

For  more  than  a  year,  Maulevrier  pressed  his 
suit,  but  the  result  was  far  from  answering  his 
expectations  ;  and,  at  length,  perceiving  the  ill- 
humour  of  Madame  de  la  Vrilliere,  he  concluded 
that  Nangis' s  wooing  must  have  been  crowned  with 
success,  and  "  jealousy  and  rage  transported  him 
to  the  last  extremity  of  folly." 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  313 

One  morning,  as  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne 
was  returning  from  Mass,  and  he  was  aware  that 
Dangeau,  her  chevalier  d'honneur,  was  absent,  he 
met  her  and  offered  his  hand  to  conduct  her  to 
her  apartments.  The  gentleman  whose  duty  it  was 
to  take  Dangeau' s  place  courteously  waived  his 
claim  to  this  honour,  out  of  consideration  for 
Maulevrier's  loss  of  voice,  and  fell  back  out  of 
earshot,  so  that  the  marquis  had  the  full  advan- 
tages of  a  private  audience.  Then,  while  careful 
to  preserve  the  low  tone  in  which  he  had  trained 
himself  to  speak,  Maulevrier  "railed  against  Nan- 
gis  ;  called  him  by  all  sorts  of  names ;  threatened 
to  reveal  everything  to  the  King  and  Madame 
de  Maintenon,  and  to  the  prince  her  husband ; 
squeezed  her  fingers  as  though  he  would  break 
them  ;  and  led  her  in  this  manner,  like  the  madman 
that  he  was,  to  her  apartments."  x 

Half-fainting  with  pain  and  terror,  the  un- 
fortunate princess  entered  her  garde-robe  and  sent 
for  her  favourite  dame  du  ftalais,  Madame  de 
Nogaret,  to  whom  she  related  what  had  occurred, 
"  declaring  that  she  knew  not  how  she  had  reached 
her  apartments,  or  how  it  was  she  had  not  sunk 
beneath  the  floor  or  died."  Madame  de  Nogaret, 
after  taking  counsel  with  Saint-Simon  and  his 
wife,  advised  her  mistress  to  humour  this  danger- 
ous lover,  but  to  avoid  committing  herself  in  any 
way  with  him.  But,  though  such  advice  was  no 
doubt  excellent,  it  came  a  little  too  late  to  be  of 
service,  since  Maulevrier  had  now  turned  the 
vials  of  his  wrath  upon  Nangis,  and,  by  abusing  him, 
to  every  one  whom  he  could  induce  to  listen  to 

1  Saint-Simon. 

314  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

his  tirades,  was  doing  his  utmost  to  provoke  him 
to  a  duel.  Nangis,  brave  though  he  was,  did  not 
at  all  relish  the  idea  of  an  encounter  the  real 
motive  of  which  would  have  been  patent  to  every 
one,  and  would  have  ruined  him  irretrievably  ;  and 
prudently  kept  out  of  the  way  of  his  infuriated  rival. 
Nevertheless,  for  some  six  weeks,  the  Duchesse 
de  Bourgogne  lived  in  constant  dread  of  hearing 
that  her  two  admirers  had  met  in  mortal  combat, 
and  her  state  of  mind  was  scarcely  one  to  be  envied. 

This  intolerable  situation  was  at  length  ended 
by  the  diplomacy  of  Tesse.  Warned  of  how 
matters  were  going,  that  skilful  personage  took 
Fagon  into  his  confidence  and  persuaded  him  to 
assure  Maulevrier  that,  as  the  remedies  he  had 
tried  had  proved  ineffectual,  he  must  go  to  a 
warmer  climate,  as  to  spend  the  approaching  winter 
in  France  would  inevitably  kill  him.1  At  the  same 
time,  he  begged  his  son-in-law  to  follow  him  to 
Madrid,  whither  he  was  about  to  proceed  on  an 
important  mission,  promising  that  he  should  meet 
with  a  cordial  welcome  at  the  Spanish  Court. 

Maulevrier  allowed  himself  to  be  persuaded, 
and  Tesse  and  Fagon  having  assured  the  King  that 
he  was  really  ill,  the  necessary  permission  was  readily 
accorded,  and  in  November  1704  he  set  out  for 
Spain,  furnished  with  a  letter  of  recommendation 
to  Philip  v  from  the  Due  de  Bourgogne,  who  had 
not  the  least  suspicion  of  the  mortal  terror  with 
which  his  protege  had  inspired  his  wife. 

The  relief  of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  at  the 

1  It  would  appear  from  this  that,  though  Maulevrier  had  greatly 
exaggerated  the  state  of  his  health,  he  was  really  consumptive,  and 
was*alarmed  about  himself. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  315 

departure  of  her  terrible  admirer  may  be  imagined ; 
and,  as  Tesse  had  promised  to  do  everything  in  his 
power  to  keep  his  son-in-law  in  Spain,  she  flattered 
herself  that  it  would  be  many  a  long  day  before 
she  saw  him  again.     But  in  this  she  was  mistaken. 

Admitted,  thanks  to  the  recommendations  of 
the  Due  de  Bourgogne  and  Tesse  into  the  intimacy 
of  the  King  and  Queen  of  Spain,  the  audacious 
Maulevrier,  if  we  are  to  believe  Saint-Simon  and 
Madame  de  Caylus,  did  not  hesitate  to  abuse  their 
Majesties'  condescension,  and  made  love  to  the 
younger  sister  as  he  had  made  love  to  the  elder. 
Saint-Simon  adds  that  his  advances  were  not  ill 
received,  and  that  the  affair  caused  so  much  talk 
that  the  Due  de  Gramont,  the  French  Ambassador 
at  Madrid,  deemed  it  necessary  to  inform  Louis  xiv 
of  the  rumours  which  had  reached  him.  In  con- 
sequence, the  King  prohibited  Maulevrier  from 
accepting  any  honours  which  might  be  offered  him 
by  Philip  v, — there  was  a  report  that  he  was  about 
to  be  made  a  grandee  of  Spain, — and  ordered  him  to 
join  Tesse  at  the  siege  of  Gibraltar,  and,  on  learn- 
ing, subsequently,  that  he  had  quitted  Gibraltar 
and  returned  to  Madrid,  recalled  him  to  France. 

What  is  certain,  is  that  Maulevrier  did  com- 
mit some  indiscretion  at  Madrid,  which  caused 
his  father-in-law  to  beg  Louis  xiv  to  summon  him 
back  to  France ;  and  that  in  the  autumn  of  1705 
he  reappeared  at  Versailles,  and  at  once  resumed 
his  persecution  of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne. 
In  the  interval,  he  had  become  madder  than 
ever,  and  his  wrath  was  terrible  on  learning  that 
he  had  now  not  one  rival,  but  two,  to  contend 
with.     For,   far  from   profiting  by  her  recent  sad 

3i6  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

experience,  the  princess  had  added  a  fresh  string 
to  her  bow,  in  the  person  of  the  Abbe  Melchior  de 
Polignac,  afterwards  cardinal. 

The  abbe  was  a  much  older  man  than  either 
of  his  competitors  for  the  princess's  favour,  for  he 
was  in  his  forty-fifth  year;  but,  in  every  other 
respect,  his  qualifications  for  the  role  to  which  he 
aspired  were  infinitely  greater  than  theirs.  Writing 
fifteen  years  earlier  to  her  friend  Madame  de 
Coulanges,  Madame  de  Sevigne  had  described  him 
as  "  one  of  the  men  of  the  world  whose  disposition 
appeared  to  her  the  most  agreeable  "  ;  while  Saint- 
Simon,  though  he  disliked  him  heartily,  is  com- 
pelled to  pay  tribute  to  his  good  looks,  his  ver- 
satility, his  cultured  tastes,  his  conversational 
powers,  and  the  wonderful  fascination  of  his 
manner.  "  Pleasing,  nay,  most  fascinating  in 
manner,"  he  writes,  "  the  abbe  was  a  man  to  gain 
all  hearts.  He  desired  to  please  the  valet  and  the 
maid,  as  well  as  the  master  and  the  mistress.  To 
succeed  in  this,  he  stopped  at  no  flattery.  One 
day,  when  following  the  King  through  the  gardens 
of  Marly,  it  came  on  to  rain.  The  King  con- 
siderately noticed  the  abbe's  dress,  which  was 
little  calculated  to  keep  off  rain.  "  It  is  no  matter, 
Sire,"  observed  Polignac,  "the  rain  of  Marly  does 
not  wet." 

Notwithstanding  all  his  suppleness,  the  abbe  fell 
into  disgrace  in  1698,  when,  as  French  Ambassador 
in  Poland,  he  failed  in  his  negotiations  to  secure 
the  uneasy  crown  of  that  kingdom  for  the  Prince 
de  Conti,  and,  on  his  return  to  France,  he  was 
banished  from  Court.  But  his  exile  lasted  only 
three  years,  and,  thanks  to  the  publication  of  a 



A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  317 

philosophical  poem  in  Latin,  the  Anti-Lucretius, 
which  greatly  pleased  both  the  Due  de  Bourgogne 
and  the  King,  and  procured  its  author's  election 
to  the  Academy,  in  succession  to  Bossuet,  he  was 
now  in  high  favour  once  more. 

The  astute  Polignac  succeeded  in  ingratiating 
himself  with  the  Due  de  Bourgogne,  by  sympa- 
thising with  his  religious  views  and  flattering  his 
taste  for  the  sciences  ;  and  made  friends  with  the 
duchess's  intimates,  the  Marechale  de  Cceuvres 
and  Madame  d'O.  He  thus  found  many  oppor- 
tunities of  approaching  the  princess,  of  which  he  did 
not  fail  to  take  advantage.  The  attentions  of 
distinguished  middle-aged  are  often  very  accept- 
able to  the  vanity  of  youth ;  and,  besides,  the 
abbe  was  still  a  handsome  man.  "  He  sought  to 
be  heard,  and  he  was  heard.  Soon  he  braved  the 
danger  of  the  Swiss,  and  on  fine  nights  walked 
with  the  duchess  in  the  gardens  of  Marly."  The 
star  of  Nangis  began  to  pale  ;  Maulevrier,  on  his 
return,  found  himself  altogether  forgotten. 

The  latter  gallant,  however,  had  not  the  smallest 
intention  of  accepting  his  dismissal,  and,  to  recall 
himself  to  the  princess's  memory,  began  to  bom- 
bard her  with  threatening  letters.  Terrified  lest 
she  should  find  herself  the  victim  of  the  scandal 
which  she  had  so  narrowly  escaped  twelve  months 
before,  the  lady  replied  to  them,  and  charged 
Madame  Quantin,  who  again  acted  as  the  inter- 
mediary, to  assure  Maulevrier  that  he  might  always 
count  upon  her  friendship.  But  Maulevrier  refused 
to  be  placated  ;  and,  when  he  heard  that  his  wife, 
'  who  concealed  beneath  a  virginal  appearance  a 
most  malignant  disposition,"  resenting  her  lord's 

318  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

infatuation  for  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne,  had 
begun  to  make  advances  to  Nangis,  and  that 
Nangis  seemed  inclined  to  meet  her  half-way,  he 
lost  what  little  reason  was  left  him,  and  committed 
so  many  follies  that  his  friends  were  obliged  to 
have  him  confined  to  his  hotel  in  Paris  and  care- 
fully watched.  At  length,  in  the  early  morning 
of  Good  Friday  1706,  the  unfortunate  man  succeeded 
in  eluding  the  vigilance  of  his  gaolers,  threw  him- 
self from  an  upper  window  into  the  courtyard 
below,  and  was  instantly  killed.1 

News  of  the  tragedy  was  brought  to  the  Duchesse 
de  Bourgogne  as  she  was  on  her  way  to  Tenebrce, 
in  the  midst  of  all  the  Court.  She  succeeded  in 
controlling  her  feelings  in  public,  but  Saint-Simon 
assures  us  that,  on  her  return  to  her  apartments, 
she  shed  tears,  and  that  for  some  days  afterwards 
her  eyes  were  suspiciously  red.  Perhaps,  however, 
her  emotion  was  due  less  to  sorrow  for  the  tragic 
end  of  her  embarrassing  admirer  as  to  the  fact 
that  the  letters  which  she  had  been  indiscreet 
enough  to  write  him  had  fallen  into  the  hands  of 
Madame  de  Maulevrier,  who  obstinately  refused  to 
surrender  them.  People  also  observed  that  Madame 
de  Maintenon  seemed  constrained  and  abrupt  in 
her  manner  towards  the  princess,  and  that  they 
had  several  long  interviews,  from  which  the  latter 
emerged  in  a  lachrymose  condition  ;  and  it  was 
shrewdly  suspected  that  the  old  lady  was  acquainted 
with  the  whole  story.  This  suspicion  was  con- 
firmed when,  shortly  afterwards,  Polignac  was 
nominated  one  of  the  auditors  of  the  Rota  at  Rome, 
and  departed  into  a  kind  of  disguised  exile.     His 

1  Saint-Simon. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  319 

removal  was  certainly  a  prudent  step,   since   the 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne   "  wished  him  a  pleasant 
journey  in  a  manner  very  different  from  that  in 
which  she  was  accustomed  to   dismiss  those  who 
came  to  take  leave  of  her,"  and  shut  herself  up  for 
the   rest   of   the   day  in  Madame   de  Maintenon's 
apartments,   on  the   plea  of   a   headache.     A  few 
days   later,    Madame,  walking   in    the   gardens   of 
Versailles,  found  on  the  pedestal  of  a  statue  some 
verses   on   the   subject,    "  which   she   was   neither 
discreet  enough  nor  benevolent  enough  to  ignore." 
The  Court,  however,  was  more  good-natured,  and 
observed   about   the    Polignac   business   the   same 
reticence  which  it  had  shown  in  regard  to  Nangis 
and  Maulevrier,  and  neither  the  King  nor  the  lady's 
husband    ever    appear    to    have    entertained   any 
suspicion — a   really   remarkable   testimony   to   the 
popularity  of  the  princess. 

After  the  departure  of  the  fascinating  Polignac, 
we   hear   of   no   more   flirtations — there   does   not 
seem  to  be  any  reason  to  suppose  that  her  conduct 
deserves   a    harsher    name — on   the   part   of    the 
Duchesse   de   Bourgogne.     Perhaps,    the   lesson  of 
the    terrible    fate    of    Maulevrier,    victim    of    dis- 
appointed passions  and  ambitions  which  she  had 
certainly  done   something   to    encourage,  was   not 
lost  upon  her  ;    perhaps,  she  realised  that  it  is  not 
generally    the    good   fortune    of    princesses    to    be 
loved  for  themselves  alone,  and  that  the  homage 
which    is    offered    them    is    seldom    disinterested ; 
and   certainly,    as   time    went    on,    she    began    to 
understand  more  fully  the   obligations  which  her 
position  exacted,  and  to  appreciate  at  something 
approaching  its   true   worth   the   devotion  of  her 

320  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

husband.  Any  way,  she  appears  henceforth  to 
have  conducted  herself  towards  the  opposite  sex 
with  perfect  propriety,  and  to  have  given  no 
further  cause  for  scandal.1 

1  We  ought  perhaps  to  except  the  affair  in  171 1  with  the  fifteen- 
year-old  Due  de  Fronsac,  afterwards  the  too-celebrated  Due  de 
Richelieu,  who  was  found  one  day  concealed  in  the  princess's  bed- 
chamber. But,  though  much  has  been  made  of  this  episode  by  the 
scandal-loving  writers  of  the  latter  part  of  the  eighteenth  century, 
it  seems  to  have  been  regarded  at  the  time  as  merely  a  piece 
of  boyish  impertinence,  and  the  lettre  de  cachet,  which  sent  the 
precocious  young  gentleman  to  the  Bastille  was  granted  at  the 
request  of  his  indignant  father,  who  appears  to  have  had  several 
other  causes  of  complaint  against  him. 


Death  of  the  little  Due  de  Bretagne — Letters  of  the  Duchesse 
de  Bourgogne  to  Madame  Royale,  and  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne 
to  Philip  v — Desperate  position  of  Victor  Amadeus  n  :  Turin 
invested  by  the  French  under  La  Feuillade — Cruel  anxiety  of 
the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne,  who  endeavours  to  persuade  her 
father  to  come  to  terms  with  France — Her  letters  to  Madame 
Royale — Siege  of  Turin — Incapacity  of  the  French  generals — 
Eugene  is  permitted  to  effect  a  junction  with  the  forces  of  Victor 
Amadeus,  and  inflicts  a  crushing  defeat  on  the  investing  army 
— The  historian  Duclos's  accusation  of  treachery  against  the 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne,  and  the  legend  of  the  princess  having 
seduced  the  French  generals  from  their  duty,  considered. 

THE  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  had  other  troubles 
besides  those  in  which  her  imprudences 
with  Nangis,  Maulevrier,  and  Polignac  in- 
volved her.  In  April  1705,  the  little  son  whose 
birth  had  been  celebrated  by  such  brilliant  fetes 
died  from  convulsions,  and  the  young  princess 
knew,  for  the  first  time  in  her  butterfly  existence, 
the  meaning  of  real  sorrow.  Her  grief  for  her 
child  was  such  that  all  the  Court  was  moved  with 
compassion,  and,  a  few  days  after  his  death,  we 
find  her  writing  the  following  touching  letter 
to  her  grandmother  : — 

"  I  cannot,  my  dear  grandmamma,  be  longer 
without  comforting  myself  with  you  in  the  sorrow 
which  has  befallen  me.  I  am  well  persuaded  that 
you  have  felt  it,  for  I  know  the  affection  which  you 
have  always  had  for  me.  If  we  did  not  take  all 
21  »" 

322  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

the  sorrows  of  this  life  from  God,  I  know  not  what 
would  become  of  us.  I  think  He  wishes  to  draw 
me  to  Him,  by  overwhelming  me  with  every  kind 
of  grief.  My  health  suffers  greatly  from  it,  but 
that  is  the  least  of  my  sorrows.  I  have  received 
one  of  your  letters,  my  dear  grandmamma,  which 
gave  me  very  great  pleasure.  The  assurances  of 
affection  which  you  give  me  bring  me  consolation. 
I  have  great  need  of  it  in  my  present  state."  x 

The  grief  of  the  young  mother  was  not  only 
very  great,  but  some  time  seems  to  have  elapsed 
ere  she  succeeded  in  conquering  it,  since  two 
months  later  Madame  de  Maintenon  informs  the 
Princesse  des  Ursins  that  "  the  Duchesse  de  Bour- 
gogne  wept  yesterday  for  her  son  as  on  the  day 
of  his  death,  because  it  was  that  of  his  birth." 

The  young  princess  suffered  also  the  keenest 
distress  and  the  most  cruel  anxiety  on  behalf  of 

1  Contessa  della  Rocca,  Correspondance  inedite  de  la  Duchesse  de 
Bourgogne  et  de  la  Reine  d'Espagne.  On  the  previous  day,  the 
Due  de  Bourgogne  had  written  to  his  brother,  the  King  of  Spain, 
a  letter  in  which  he  expresses  his  resignation  to  the  Divine  Will, 
and  his  ardent  desire  to  fulfil  the  duties  of  his  position  in  such  a 
way  that  he  may  one  day  be  permitted  to  rejoin  his  child  : 

"  I  have  not  written  you,  my  dear  brother,  since  the  loss  of  my 
son,  and  I  believe  that  the  affection  which  you  entertain  for  me  will 
have  caused  you  to  feel  it  keenly.  It  would  have  been  desirable,  not 
only  for  my  own  sake,  but  for  that  of  affairs  in  general,  that  this  mis- 
fortune should  not  have  befallen  us,  but  men  ought  always  to  submit 
blindly  to  that  which  comes  from  above.  God  knows  better  than 
ourselves  what  is  right  for  us  ;  He  has  life  and  death  in  His  hands, 
and  has  taken  my  son  to  a  place  where  I  ardently  desire  to  rejoin 
him  one  day.  However,  to  desire  that  is  not  sufficient  ;  I  must 
work  for  it,  and  I  should  be  a  Jansenist  if  I  said  otherwise,  which 
you  are  well  aware  I  am  far  from  being.  The  position  in  which  you 
are,  my  dear  brother,  and  for  which  I  am  destined  in  the  course  of 
Nature  (though  I  desire  that  the  time  may  be  very  far  distant),  this 
position,  I  say,  is  as  full  of  dangers  as  there  are  duties  to  discharge, 
and  these  dangers  are  so  much  the  more  pressing  as  the  duties  are 
great  ;  but,  at  the  same  time,  what  degree  of  glory  is  reserved  in 
Heaven  for  those  who  discharge  them  worthily  !  .  .  ,  " 

A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY  323 

her  relatives  in  Italy.  The  course  of  the  war 
in  Flanders,  Germany,  and  Spain  during  the  years 
1704  and  1705  and  the  first  part  of  1706  was 
disastrous  to  the  Bourbon  cause.  Tallard  was 
crushed  at  Blenheim  ;  Villeroy  at  Ramillies  ;  nearly 
the  whole  of  Flanders  fell  into  the  hands  of  the 
Allies  ;  the  meteoric  Peterborough  carried  all 
before  him  in  Spain,  and  Philip  v  was  compelled  to 
leave  Madrid  and  fly  to  Burgos,  while  the  Allies 
entered  the  capital  and  proclaimed  the  Archduke 
Charles  king,  as  Charles  ill. 

But  in  Northern  Italy  the  condition  of  affairs 
was  very  different.  The  events  which  had  pre- 
cipitated the  defection  of  Victor  xAmadeus  had  been 
so  rapid,  that  his  new  allies  had  had  no  time  to 
send  him  assistance,  and  he  found  himself  com- 
pelled to  face  unaided  the  storm  which  quickly 
burst  upon  him. 

The  results  might  well  have  daunted  a  less 
resolute  spirit.  The  counties  of  Nice  and  Savoy 
were  over-run ;  three  French  armies  penetrated 
by  different  roads  into  Piedmont  ;  and  one  after 
another  almost  every  place  of  importance,  with 
the  exception  of  Turin,  fell  into  the  hands  of  the 
invaders.  The  Imperialists  were  too  hard  pressed 
themselves  to  be  able  to  render  any  effective 
assistance  to  their  stricken  ally,  and,  after  Vendome's 
victories  at  Cassano  and  Calcinato  had  driven 
them  back  across  the  Adige,  it  seemed  as  if  nothing 
could  prevent  the  fall  of  Turin  and  the  ruin  of  the 
House  of  Savoy.  The  Court  of  Versailles,  indeed, 
exasperated  by  the  defection  of  the  Duke,  seemed 
to  regard  the  taking  of  his  capital  as  an  affair  of 
honour,  to  which  every  other  consideration  ought 

324  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

to  be  subordinated.  Immense  preparations  were 
made  for  the  siege,  and  in  the  last  days  of  May  the 
city  was  invested  by  a  splendid  army,  commanded 
by  the  Due  de  la  Feuillade,  a  son-in-law  of  Chamil- 
lart,  the  Minister  for  War. 

The  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  was  in  the  utmost 
consternation,  when  she  learned  of  the  proposed 
investment  of  Turin,  and  aware  that  its  reduction 
would  administer  the  coup  de  grdce  to  the  tottering 
fortunes  of  her  ambitious  father,  she  endeavoured 
to  induce  him  to  come  to  terms  with  France. 
Since,  however,  she  did  not  dare  to  address  the 
Duke  directly,  it  was  to  her  mother  that  she  wrote  : 

"  May  3  [1706] 
"  I  have  had  no  letters  from  you  by  this  courier, 
my  dearest  mother  ;    I  hope,   however,   they  will 
arrive  in  a  few  days. 

"  We  have  had  very  good  news  from  Barcelona,1 
and  from  all  sides  agreeable  tidings  are  reaching  us. 
All  that  is  passing  in  Italy  affords  me  much  cause 
for  reflection,  and  gives  me  many  hopes.  I  confess 
the  truth,  my  dearest  mother,  that  it  would  be 
the  greatest  pleasure  that  I  could  have  in  this 
life,  if  I  could  see  my  father  brought  back  to  reason. 
I  cannot  understand  why  he  does  not  make  terms, 
especially  in  the  unfortunate  situation  in  which 
he  now  finds  himself,  and  without  any  hope  of 
being  succoured  [by  the  Austrians].  Does  he  still 
wish  to  allow  Turin  to  be  taken  ?     The  rumour 

1  Barcelona  had  been  taken  by  Peterborough  in  the  previous 
October;  but  early  in  1706  a  great  effort  was  made  to  recover  it, 
and  Philip  v  and  Tesse  besieged  it  from  the  land  side,  while  the 
French  fleet,  under  the  Comte  de  Toulouse,  blockaded  the  harbour. 
At  the  time  when  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  wrote,  it  seemed  that 
the  town  must  succumb,  but  it  was  subsequently  relieved  by  the 
arrival  of  the  English  fleet,  against  which  the  French  ships  did  not 
venture  to  contend. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  325 

afloat  here  is  that  it  will  not  be  long  before  the 
siege  is  begun.  Conceive,  therefore,  my  dear 
mother,  the  state  in  which  I  must  be  in,  sensitive 
as  I  am  to  all  that  concerns  you  !  I  am  in  despair 
at  the  situation  to  which  my  father  is  reduced  by 
his  own  fault.  Is  it  possible  that  he  believes  that 
we  should  not  grant  him  favourable  terms  ?  I 
assure  you  that  all  that  the  King  desires  is  to  see 
his  kingdom  tranquil,  and  that  of  his  grandson, 
the  King  of  Spain,  also.  It  appears  to  me  that 
my  father  ought  to  desire  the  same  thing  for  himself, 
and,  when  I  reflect  that  the  power  of  making  it  so 
is  in  his  hands,  I  am  astonished  that  he  does  not 
do  it. 

"I  fear,  my  dearest  mother,  that  you  will 
think  me  very  bold  in  writing  all  that  I  have  ; 
but  I  cannot  restrain  myself,  feeling  as  I  do  my 
father's  position.  I  feel  that  he  is  my  father,  and 
a  father  whom  I  deeply  love.  Therefore,  my 
dearest  mother,  forgive  me  if  I  write  you  too  freely. 
It  is  my  intense  desire  that  we  should  escape 
these  difficult  moments  that  cause  me  to  write  as  I 

"  Continue  to  love  me,  my  dearest  mother,  and 
do  not  take  all  this  in  bad  part,  for  you  understand 
my  intention  in  speaking,  and  the  motive  which 
inspires  me.  I  send  you  a  letter  from  my  sister, 
who  is  as  vexed  as  I  am  at  all  that  is  happening." 

M.  Gagniere,  who,  by  the  way,  gives  the  date  of 
this  letter  as  1711,  although,  as  M.  d'Haussonville 
points  out,  the  double  allusion  to  the  sieges  of 
Barcelona  and  Madrid  leaves  no  possible  doubt 
that  it  belongs  to  1706,  is  of  opinion  that  it  was 
dictated  by  Madame  de  Maintenon,  "not  because 
Marie  Adelaide  did  not  cherish  in  her  heart  senti- 
ments of  peace  and  concord,  but  because  she  was 

326  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

unable  to  express  them";1  and,  since  we  know 
that,  at  this  juncture,  Louis  xiv  would  have  been 
very  willing  to  enter  into  negotiations  with  his 
enemies  and  to  purchase  peace,  even  at  the  price  of 
considerable  sacrifices,  his  assumption  is  not  unlikely 
to  be  correct.  However  that  may  be,  Victor 
Amadeus  remained  deaf  to  the  entreaties  of  his 
elder  daughter,  as  he  did  to  those,  not  less  urgent 
and  pathetic,  which  were  addressed  to  him  by  her 
sister,  the  Queen  of  Spain  ;  and  the  Duchesse  de 
Bourgogne  was  condemned  to  spend  more  than 
three  months  of  the  most  terrible  suspense,  while 
the  fate  of  the  House  of  Savoy  was  trembling  in 
the  balance,  although  true  to  her  role  of  always 
pleasing  the  King,  no  matter  at  what  cost  to 
herself,  she  did  not  cease  to  participate  in  the 
pleasures  of  the  Court ,  and  to  affect  a  gaiety  which 
she  was  very  far  from  feeling. 

What  her  real  sentiments  were,  will  be  gathered 
from  two  letters  which  she  wrote  at  this  time  to 
Madame  Roy  ale,  who,  with  the  Duchess  of  Savoy  and 
the  two  young  princes,  had  been  sent  for  safety  to 
Mondovi,  and,  subsequently,  to  Genoa,  where  the 
Doge  and  the  Senate  had  offered  them  an  asylum. 

"  Marly,  June  21,  1706 
"  I  can  be  no  longer,  my  dear  grandmamma,  with- 
out sharing  all  our  sorrows  with  you.  Imagine  my 
anxiety  as  to  all  that  is  happening  to  you,  loving 
you  as  I  do  very  tenderly,  and  having  all  possible 
affection  for  my  father,  my  mother,  and  my  brothers. 
I  cannot  see  them  in  so  unhappy  a  situation 
without  tears  rising  to  my  eyes,  for  assuredly,  my 
dear  grandmamma,  I  am  very  sensitive  to  all  that 

1  Marie  A  delaide  de  Savoie  :  Lettres  et  Correspondences. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  327 

concerns  you,  and  I  see,  by  all  that  is  in  me,  to  what 
point  my  affection  for  my  family  goes. 

"  My  health  is  not  so  much  injured  as  it  might  be. 
I  am  fairly  well,  but  in  a  state  of  sadness  which  no 
amusements  can  mitigate,  and  which  will  never 
leave  me,  for  it  serves  to  console  me  in  my  present 

"  Do  not  deprive  me,  I  entreat  you,  of  your 
letters.  They  afford  me  much  pleasure,  and  I 
have  need  of  them  in  the  state  I  am  in.  Send  me 
news  of  what  is  dearest  to  me  in  the  world." 

"  Marly,  July  25,  1706 
"  I  have  not  written  you,  my  dear  grandmamma, 
as  I  do  not  know  whether  you  are  still  with  my 
mother,  having  been  unable  to  obtain  any  informa- 
tion. You  know  my  heart ;  imagine  therefore  the 
state  I  am  in !  I  received  yesterday  one  of  your 
letters,  by  which  I  was  very  affected.  I  am  not 
less  at  the  state  in  which  you  are,  and  I  cannot 
reconcile  myself  to  all  your  misfortunes.  I  see 
them  increasing  with  extreme  sorrow,  and  there  is 
not  a  day  when  I  do  not  feel  them  very  keenly  and 
weep  in  thinking  of  what  a  family  which  is  so  dear 
to  me,  and  which  I  would  give  my  life  to  comfort 
for  a  moment,  is  suffering. 

"  I  am  very  glad,  my  dear  grandmamma,  that  the 
fatigues  of  a  journey  so  long  and  painful  as  that  which 
you  have  just  made  has  not  injured  your  health; 
which  I  trust  will  continue  good,  in  spite  of  every- 
thing. I  pity  greatly  my  mother,  who,  for  additional 
sorrow,  is  anxious  about  the  illness  of  her  children, 
and  yet  is  obliged  to  continue  to  travel  in  such 
excessive  heat  and  over  such  frightful  roads. 

'  I  have  no  other  consolation,  my  dear  grand- 
mamma, than  that  of  receiving  your  letters  and  the 
continued  assurances  of  your  affection.  We  have 
all  need  of  great   courage  to  sustain  such  terrible 

328  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

trials  as  those  which  we  have  had  of  late.  God 
wishes  to  try  me  by  all  the  means  to  which  I  am 
most  sensitive.  I  must  resign  myself  to  His  will, 
and  pray  that  He  will  soon  deliver  us  from  the 
state  in  which  we  are. 

"As  for  myself,  I  feel  that  I  cannot  sustain  it 
longer,  if  He  does  not  give  me  strength  to  do  so. 

"Love  me  always,  and  be  assured,  my  dear 
grandmamma,  of  my  respect  and  affection,  which 
will  end  only  with  my  life."  l 

When  this  last  letter  was  written,  the  siege  oi 
Turin  had  been  in  progress  for  just  seven  weeks, 
the  first  cannon-shots  having  been  fired  by  the 
besiegers  on  June  3.  Victor  Amadeus  was  not 
himself  in  the  city,  but  lay  with  what  troops  he 
could  muster  at  Cherasco,  from  whence  he  could 
harass  the  investing  army,  while  awaiting  the 
arrival  of  Prince  Eugene,  now  advancing  from  the 
Tyrol  at  the  head  of  an  Austrian  force,  which  had 
been  placed  in  the  field  owing  to  the  representa- 
tions of  Marlborough,  who  had  impressed  upon 
the  sluggish  Cabinet  of  Vienne  the  vital  importance 
of  saving  Turin.  In  the  absence  of  the  Duke,  the 
defence  was  entrusted  to  two  Savoyard  nobles,  the 
Marquis  de  Carrail  and  the  Comte  de  la  Roche 
d'Allery,  who  had  greatly  distinguished  them- 
selves in  the  defence  of  Nice  and  Verrua,  with 
whom  was  associated  an  Austrian  officer,  the  Graf 
von  Daun,  father  of  the  celebrated  general  of  the 
Seven  Years'  War. 

Unanimity  and  enthusiasm  reigned  within  the 
beleagured  city,  where  the  entire  population, 
women  as  well  as  men,  aided  in  the  defence,  and 

1  Gagniere,  Marie  Adelaide  de  Savoie  :  Lettres  et  Correspondances. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  329 

displayed  the  utmost  courage  and  devotion.  But 
in  the  camp  of  the  besiegers  a  very  different  state 
of  affairs  prevailed.  La  Feuillade,  a  younger 
Villeroy,  incapable,  presumptuous,  and  insolent, 
who  owed  his  appointment  to  the  command  of  the 
Army  of  Piedmont  entirety  to  his  relationship  to 
Chamillart,  the  Minister  for  War,  declined  to 
listen  to  the  advice  of  Vauban  and  the  other  ex- 
perienced officers  who  served  under  him,  and 
conducted  the  operations  with  a  sublime  disregard 
for  all  the  rules  of  siege- warfare. 

Meanwhile,  Eugene  was  gradually  drawing 
nearer.  By  a  bold  and  skilful  manoeuvre,  he  out- 
witted Vendome,  who  was  guarding  the  Adige  and 
the  Po,  crossed  both  those  rivers,  and  marched 
up  the  southern  bank  of  the  Po  towards  Turin. 
At  this  critical  moment,  Vendome  was  summoned 
to  Flanders,  to  replace  Villeroy,  who  had  just  met 
with  his  deserts  at  Ramillies,  leaving  the  command 
of  his  army  to  the  young  Due  d' Orleans,  who,  as 
the  fashion  was,  had  arrived  with  a  general  to 
guide  him,  in  the  person  of  Marsin,  who  had  com- 
manded part  of  the  French  forces  at  Blenheim. 
Orleans  begged  Vendome  to  postpone  his  departure 
and  endeavour  to  repair  his  errors  ;  but  the  latter, 
wishing,  according  to  Saint-Simon,  that  his  suc- 
cessor should  remain  charged  with  them,  declined 
and  left  the  duke  to  get  out  of  the  difficulty  as 
best  he  might. 

This  was  no  easy  matter,  since  Marsin,  when 
ordered  by  Orleans  to  prevent  the  Imperialists 
crossing  the  Tanaro,  a  tributary  of  the  Po,  pro- 
duced full  powers  from  Louis  xiv,  and  refused  to 
move  ;   and  the  mortified  prince  had  no  alternative 

330  A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

but  to  lead  his  forces  to  Turin  to  reinforce  the 
investing  army. 

Here  long  and  heated  discussions  took  place 
between  the  three  commanders  concerning  the 
measures  to  be  taken  to  oppose  the  approaching 
enemy.  Orleans,  who,  though  no  great  general, 
was  infinitely  more  capable  than  either  of  his 
colleagues,  strongly  urged  that  they  should  at 
once  advance  against  the  Imperialists  and  make 
a  last  effort  to  prevent  their  junction  with  the 
Duke  of  Savoy  ,*  while  Le  Feuillade  insisted  on 
awaiting  battle  in  their  own  lines,  although  these 
extended  over  fifteen  miles  of  country,  and  thus 
served  to  neutralise  the  superiority  in  numbers 
which  the  French  possessed.  Marsin,  however, 
"  who  wished  to  keep  in  the  good  graces  of  the 
son-in-law  of  the  all-powerful  Minister,"  and 
without  whom  Orleans  could  do  nothing,  sided 
with  La  Feuillade  ;  the  other  officers  present 
supported  him  likewise,  and  "  the  throat  of  France 
was  cut."  l 

On  the  morning  of  September  7,  the  investing 
army  was  suddenly  attacked  by  Eugene  and  Victor 
Amadeus,  who  had  effected  their  junction  some 
days  previously  at  Carmagnola,  and,  on  learning 
of  the  straits  to  which  the  besieged  were  now 
reduced  through  famine  and  sickness,  had  resolved 
to  put  their  fate  to  the  touch  without  delay. 

The  French  were  vastly  superior  in  numbers, 
and  were  behind  entrenchments,  to  attack  which 
the  Allies  had  to  cross  an  open  plain.  But  their 
extended  line  presented  several  weak  points  and 
was  easily  broken,  while  the  whole  army  was  de- 

1  Saint-Simon. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  331 

moralised  by  the  dissensions  between  its  leaders 
and  the  contradictory  orders  which  were  issued. 
After  an  obstinate  combat,  discipline  and  general- 
ship carried  the  day,  and  the  French  were  completely 
routed.  Marsin  was  killed ;  Orleans,  who  had 
displayed  great  courage  and  presence  of  mind, 
wounded ;  and  the  besiegers  fell  back  in  utter  con- 
fusion on  Susa  and  Pinerolo ;  while  Eugene  and 
Victor  Amadeus  entered  Turin  in  triumph. 

In  losing  the  Battle  of  Turin,  Louis  xiv  lost 
Italy  as  well.  The  French  evacuated  all  Piedmont 
and  Savoy,  with  the  exception  of  the  fortresses, 
which  one  after  another  were  compelled  to  open 
their  gates  ;  the  Milanese  and  the  Duchy  of  Mantua 
passed  into  the  possession  of  the  Emperor,  who 
gave  Montferrato  to  the  Duke  of  Savoy  ;  and  in 
March  1707  the  Convention  of  Milan  secured 
Northern  Italv  for  the  Allies.  The  Bourbon 
troops  were  also  driven  from  the  Kingdom  of 
Naples,  since  it  was  no  longer  possible  to  send 
reinforcements  thither  by  land,  and  the  English 
fleet  swept  the  seas ;  and  the  Neapolitans  has- 
tened to  make  a  separate  peace  with  the  Empire. 
Thus,  in  less  than  twelve  months  from  that  fatal 
day,  their  Most  Christian  and  Catholic  Majesties 
found  themselves  without  a  rood  of  ground  in  the 
whole  peninsula. 

We  have  dealt  at  greater  length  upon  these 
events  than  would  otherwise  have  been  necessary, 
since  they  have  been  made  the  occasion  of  serious 
charges  against  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne. 
"  This  fascinating  child,  so  dear  to  the  King," 
writes  Duclos,  "  none  the  less  betrayed  France, 
by  informing  her  father,  then  Duke  of  Savoy  and 

332  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

our  enemy,  of  all  the  military  plans  which  she 
found  the  means  of  perusing.  The  King  dis- 
covered the  proof  of  this  in  the  princess's  desk, 
after  her  death.  '  The  little  rogue,'  said  he  to 
Madame  de  Maintenon,  *  was  deceiving  us.'  "  * 

This  sensational  story,  regarded  by  historians 
in  other  countries  as  the  invention  of  Duclos — a 
recorder  of  gossip  rather  than  of  fact — has,  singu- 
larly enough,  been  credited  by  several  French 
historians,  and  even  a  writer  usually  so  just  and 
discriminating  as  Sainte-Beuve  accords  it  a  kind 
of  semi-acceptance.  But,  when  we  examine  it, 
its  absurdity  becomes  at  once  apparent.  Quite 
apart  from  the  untrustworthiness  of  Duclos,  and 
the  fact  that  no  allusion  to  this  supposed  treachery 
is  to  be  found  in  the  memoirs  and  correspondence 
of  any  of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne's  contem- 
poraries, not  even  in  those  of  the  lynx-eyed  and 
far  from  benevolent  Madame,  is  it  in  the  least 
degree  probable  that  Louis  xiv  or  his  Ministers 
would  have  left  important  military  plans  lying 
about  ?  And,  even  supposing  them  to  have  been 
guilty  of  such  criminal  negligence,  and  the  princess 
to  have  taken  advantage  of  it,  how,  one  may  well 
ask,  could  she  have  transmitted  her  information  to 
Turin  ?  It  is  true  that  she  was  still  permitted  to 
communicate  with  her  relatives  in  Italy ;  but, 
from  what  we  know  about  the  fate  of  the  epistles 
of  Madame  and  other  prominent  members  of  the 
Court,  even  in  time  of  peace,  we  may  be  very  sure 
that  every  letter  she  wrote  was  closely  scrutinised 
before  being  forwarded  to  its  destination. 

But    there    is    another    legend,    which,    though 

1  Memoires  secrets  sur  les  vcgnes  de  Louis  xiv.  et  de  Louis  xv. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  333 

equally  frivolous,  was,  according  to  Voltaire,  who 
himself  regards  it  with  contempt,  long  believed  by 
almost  all  the  officers  who  had  fought  in  the  French 
army  at  Turin,  and  has  been  accepted  by  many 
eighteenth  century  historians,  and  even  by  some 
of  more  recent  date. 

"  Almost  all  the  historians,"  he  writes,  "  have 
assured  us  that  the  Due  de  la  Feuillade  did  not 
wish  to  take  Turin.  They  pretend  that,  having 
dared  to  cast  passionate  glances  in  the  direction 
of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne,  he  had  promised  her 
to  respect  her  father's  capital  ;  and  they  declare 
that  this  princess  had  engaged  Madame  de  Main- 
tenon  to  cause  the  measures  to  be  taken  which 
were  the  salvation  of  this  town.  It  is  true  that 
almost  all  the  officers  of  that  army  were  long 
persuaded  of  this,  but  it  was  one  of  those  popular 
rumours  which  discredit  the  judgment  of  the  news- 
mongers and  dishonour  histories."  * 

The  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  is  then  accused  of 
having  seduced  La  Feuillade — or,  according  to 
Michelet,  Marsin — from  his  duty  to  his  sovereign, 
and  Madame  de  Maintenon,  in  order  to  please  her, 
of  having  betrayed  her  husband  and  her  country, 
by  sending  timely  warning  to  the  Duke  of  Savoy 
of  the  intention  of  the  French  to  lay  siege  to  Turin, 
which  enabled  him  to  place  his  capital  in  a  state 
of  defence.  But,  incredible  as  these  charges  may 
appear,  their  acceptance  by  so  many  writers  makes 
it  impossible  for  a  biographer  of  the  Duchesse  de 
Bourgogne  to  dismiss  them  without  comment,  and 
we  must  therefore  examine  them. 

1  Steele  de  Louis  xiv. 

334  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

First — to  take  them  in  chronological  order — as 
to  the  warnings  of  the  intention  of  the  French  to  lay 
siege  to  Turin  which  Madame  de  Maintenon,  at 
the  instance  of  the  princess,  is  supposed  to  have 
sent  to  Victor  Amadeus. 

Well,  such  warnings  would  have  been  alto- 
gether superfluous.  From  the  very  beginning  of 
hostilities,  the  Duke  of  Savoy  must  have  been  well 
aware  that  Turin  was  the  objective  of  the  French 
armies — had  it  not  been  twice  threatened  by 
Catinat  in  the  previous  war  ? — and,  even  before 
his  rupture  with  France  in  the  autumn  of  1703,  he 
had  already  begun  to  strengthen  its  fortifications. 
Moreover,  we  know  from  Saint-Simon  that  the 
siege  had  been  resolved  upon  during  the  campaign 
of  1705,  and  would  have  been  undertaken  forth- 
with, but  for  differences  between  Vauban,  who 
wished  to  direct  the  siege,  La  Feuillade,  and 
Vendome,  which  caused  it  to  be  postponed  until 
the  following  year  ;  and  that  no  secret  was  made 
of  this  project.  Between  that  time  and  the  late 
spring  of  1706,  Victor  Amadeus  had  ample  time 
to  complete  his  preparations. 

Next,  as  to  the  charge  that  the  Duchesse  de 
Bourgogne  corrupted  La  Feuillade  or  Marsin. 
According  to  Mile.  d'Aumale,  when  La  Feuillade, 
"  who  had  been  chosen  to  besiege  Turin,"  came  to 
take  formal  leave  of  the  princess  before  setting  out 
for  the  army,  the  latter  said  to  him,  in  a  low  voice  : 
"  Do  not  drive  my  father  to  extremities  "  ;  and 
these  pathetic  words,  and  the  charms  of  the 
princess,  which  she  enhanced  by  the  gracious 
reception  which  she  accorded  him,  "  made  this 
nobleman  resolve  not  to  grieve  her  by  ruining  the 

A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY  335 

Duke  of  Savoy."  The  duke,  the  chronicler  adds, 
then  sought  out  his  father-in-law  Chamillart,  and 
"  showed  him  very  plainly  that  the  taking  of 
Turin  would  be  disagreeable  to  the  Duchesse  de 
Bourgogne  "  ;  and  having  apparently  made  every- 
thing right  with  the  War  Minister — who,  it  may  be 
incidentally  remarked,  was  as  honest  as  he  was 
inefficient — departed  for  Italy,  and  "  began  the 
siege  of  Turin  by  a  romantic  attack  upon  the 
citadel,  failed  to  take  it,  and  was  forced  to  raise 
the  siege,  the  while  he  said  to  himself :  '  If  I  succeed, 
I  shall  have  the  greater  glory,  and  it  will  not  be  for 
want  of  having  done  everything  to  ensure  failure.'  "  1 

The  utter  absurdity  of  Mile.  d'Aumale's  story 
is  exposed  by  the  Comte  d'Haussonville,  who 
points  out  that  La  Feuillade  could  not  possibly 
have  had  an  interview  with  the  Duchesse  de  Bour- 
gogne just  before  the  siege  of  Turin  began,  as  he 
had  been  in  command  of  the  Army  of  Piedmont 
since  February  1705,  and  did  not  visit  the  Court 
at  all  between  that  time  and  the  investment,  and 
that  though  it  is  possible  that,  at  the  moment  of 
his  departure  for  Italy,  the  princess  may  have 
addressed  to  him  some  such  request  as  the  writer 
mentions,  it  could  have  had  no  reference  to  the 
siege  of  Turin,  since  that  project  had  not  then  been 
resolved  upon.  He  also  shows  that  the  plan  of  at- 
tacking the  citadel  originated  not  with  La  Feuillade, 
but  with  Vendome,  and  that  the  former,  as  his 
despatches  prove,  was  at  first  strongly  opposed  to  it.2 

Moreover,  the  conduct  of  La  Feuillade  certainly 

1  Mile  d'Aumale,  Cahiers,  cited  by  Haussonville. 

2  Comte  d'Haussonville,  la  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  et  V Alliance 
savoyarde  sous  Louis  xtv. 

336  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

showed  very  little  desire  to  spare  the  feelings  of 
the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne,  as  Saint-Simon  and 
Voltaire  both  reproach  him  with  having  several 
times  quitted  the  siege  and  weakened  his  lines  of 
circumvallation,  in  order  to  pursue  the  Duke  of 
Savoy,  who  was  constantly  harassing  the  besiegers, 
in  the  chimerical  hope  of  making  him  prisoner. 
"It  is  difficult  to  believe,"  observes  the  latter, 
"  that  the  same  general  should  have  desired  to  fail 
before  Turin  and  take  the  Duke  of  Savoy  prisoner."  1 
There  remains  the  question  of  Marsin,  for,  if  we 
are  to  believe  that  implacable  enemy  of  the  Bour- 
bons, Michelet,  it  was  he,  and  not  La  Feuillade, 
who  was  the  real  victim  of  the  Duchesse  de  Bour- 
gogne's  intrigues  and  the  direct  cause  of  the  dis- 
aster. "  The  rumour  of  the  time,  of  which  the 
trace  remains  in  very  frivolous  monuments  (in  the 
chansons),  but  which,  nevertheless,  appears  to  me 
grave  and  extremely  probable,  is  that  Marsin, 
friend  and  confidant  of  Madame  de  Maintenon, 
sympathised  with  the  designs  and  fears  of  the 
ladies,  and  particularly  with  those  of  the  Duchesse 
de  Bourgogne.  Madame  de  Maintenon  would  not 
have  welcomed  a  victory  gained  by  the  Due 
d' Orleans  ;  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  would 
have  feared  a  pitched  battle,  in  which  her  father 
would  have  received  scant  consideration,  whereas 
in  an  attack  upon  the  lines  of  the  besieging  army, 
he  could  risk  his  person  as  much  or  as  little  as  he 
pleased.  Duclos  (very  well  informed)  says  harshly 
that  '  the  princess  betrayed  us  and  informed  the 
Duke  of  Savoy  of  everything.'  That  is  difficult 
to  believe  ;    but  it  is  very  probable  that,  in  such 

1  Steele  de  Louis  xiv. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  337 

terrible  circumstances,  she  warned  him.  At  any 
rate,  she  was  able  to  admonish  (chapitrer)  Marsin  on 
his  departure  [for  Turin],  and  to  make  him  promise 
that  he  would  offer  the  advice  which  would  be  the 
least  dangerous  for  her  father."  And  the  his- 
torian asks  us  to  believe  that  it  was  for  these 
reasons  that  Marsin  opposed  the  proposal  of  the 
Due  d' Orleans  to  attack  the  allies,  instead  of  waiting 
to  be  attacked.1 

Now,  Michelet  states  that  this  supposed  inter- 
view took  place  on  the  departure  of  Marsin  for 
Turin  ;  but  when  Marsin  received  orders  to  set  out 
for  Italy,  he  was  not  at  Versailles,  but  in  Alsace, 
whither  he  had  just  been  transferred  from  Flanders, 
to  take  command  of  the  army  of  the  Rhine,  in 
place  of  Villars,  whom  the  King  had  originally 
intended  to  associate  with  the  Due  d' Orleans  ;  and 
he  travelled  to  Piedmont  by  way  of  Switzerland, 
and  did  not  return  to  France.2  What  then  becomes 
of  Michelet' s  story  ? 

1  Histoire  de  France,  vol.  xiii. 

2  Dangeau,  Journal,  June  23  and  July  2. 



Birth  of  the  second  Due  de  Bretagne  (January  8,  1707) — Letters 
of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  to  Madame  Royale — Egotism  of 
Louis  xiv — Miscarriage  of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  at  Marly 
— The  scene  at  the  carp-basin — The  Due  de  Bourgogne  receives 
the  nominal  command  of  the  Army  of  Flanders,  with  the  Due 
de  Vendome  to  guide  him — Character  and  career  of  Vendome — 
Extraordinary  ovation  which  he  receives  on  his  return  from  Italy 
— Louis  xiv's  reasons  for  associating  his  grandson  with  him — 
Apprehensions  of  Saint-Simon — The  cabal  of  Meudon  :  its  objects. 

ON  January  8,  1707,  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne 
made  amends  for  the  loss  of  the  little  Due 
de  Bretagne  by  giving  birth  to  a  second  son, 
who  received  the  same  title  as  the  dead  child  had 
borne,  and,  like  him,  was  to  meet  with  a  premature 
death.  Louis  xiv's  satisfaction  was  great,  but, 
in  view  of  the  disasters  of  the  previous  year,  and 
the  terrible  drain  upon  the  resources  of  the  country 
which  the  war  was  entailing,  he  prohibited  all 
public  celebrations,  and  informed  the  inhabitants 
of  Versailles  that  "  it  was  his  desire  that  the  joy 
of  his  subjects  should  be  manifested  only  by  their 
anxiety  to  pray."  Notwithstanding  his  resent- 
ment against  the  Duke  of  Savoy,  the  King  wrote 
to  him  with  his  own  hand  to  announce  the  happy 
event,  "  and  received  in  reply  a  letter  of  con- 
gratulation and  thanks."  x 

Two  months  after  the  birth  of  her  little  son, 

1  Dangeau. 


A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  339 

the   Duchesse   de   Bourgogne   wrote   the   following 
interesting  letter  to  Madame  Roy  ale. 

"  Versailles,  March  14,  1707 
"  I  am  delighted,  my  dear  grandmamma,  that  you 
exhort  me  to  give  you  frequent  news  of  my  son  ; 
I  assure  you  that  I  have  no  need  of  that  to  do  so. 
He  is,  thank  God,  very  well.  ...  I  found  him 
much  grown  and  changed  for  the  better  on  my 
return  from  Marly.  He  is  not  handsome  as  yet, 
but  very  lively,  and  much  stronger  than  he  was 
when  he  came  into  the  world.  He  is  only  two 
months  old,  and  I  should  not  be  astonished  if,  a 
few  months  hence,  he  were  to  become  pretty.  I 
do  not  know  whether  it  is  the  fact  that  I  am  begin- 
ning to  blind  myself  about  him,  which  makes  me 
hope  that.  But  I  believe  that  I  shall  never  be 
blind  about  my  children,  and  that  the  love  I  shall 
have  for  them  will  enable  me  to  see  their  faults 
easily,  so  that  I  may  endeavour  to  correct  them  in 
good  time. 

"  I  only  go  to  see  my  son  very  seldom,  in  order 
that  I  may  not  grow  too  attached  to  him,  and 
also  to  note  any  change  in  him  ;  for  he  is  not  old 
enough  to  play  with  as  yet ;  and,  so  long  as  I  know 
that  Tie  is  in  good  health,  I  am  satisfied,  and  that 
is  all  that  I  need  wish  for."  x 

Her  expectation  that  her  little  son  would  in  a 
few  months'  time  be  a  pretty  child  was  realised, 
for  at  the  end  of  October,  on  her  return  from  the 
annual  visit  of  the  Court  to  Fountainebleau,  she 
writes  to  her  grandmother  : — 

1  I  have  not  been  insensible  to  the  pleasure  of 
seeing  my  son  again  ;   and  I  have  found  him  greatly 

1  A.   Gagniere,   Marie    Adelaide   de  Savoie  :    Lettres   et  Corres- 

34o  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

improved.  I  may  say,  with  truth,  that  he  is  the 
prettiest  child  in  the  world.  He  is  beginning  to 
know  me,  and  has  very  lovable  ways.  If  this 
continues  he  will  be  extremely  so." 

After  having  given  her  husband  an  heir,  the 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  seems  to  have  considered 
that  she  had  done  all  that  could  be  reasonably 
required  of  her  in  this  respect,  for  in  another  letter 
to  Madame  Roy  ale,  written  in  June  of  that  year, 
we  find  her  rejoicing  that  her  belief  that  she  was 
again  in  an  interesting  condition  had  proved 
unfounded  : — 

"  I  believe,  my  dear  grandmamma,"  she  writes, 
"  that  you  will  share  my  joy  that  I  am  not  pregnant. 
I  have  been  in  fear  of  this  for  a  long  time  ;  but, 
thank  God,  my  uneasiness  on  the  subject  is  now 
at  an  end." 

We  do  not  know  whether  Madame  Royale 
shared  her  grand- daughter's  satisfaction,  but 
Madame  de  Main  tenon  assuredly  did  not.  "It  is 
certain,  Madame,"  she  wrote  to  the  Princesse  des 
Ursins  at  Madrid,  "  that  our  princess  is  too  much 
afraid  of  becoming  pregnant.  Yours  [the  Queen 
of  Spain]  is  so  reasonable,  that  I  trust  that  she 
will  not  get  these  ideas,  which  I  believe  to  be  very 
wrong  in  the  sight  of  God.  They  ought  still,  for 
many  other  reasons,  to  wish  for  children."  And, 
in  a  subsequent  letter  to  the  same  lady,  she  declares 
that  "  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  is  not  yet 
sufficiently  alive  to  her  true  interests." 

However,    by   the   beginning   of   the   following 
spring,   the   Duchesse   de   Bourgogne   had  become 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  341 

more  reasonable,  and,  though  Madame  de  Main- 
tenon's  hopes  were  doomed  to  disappointment, 
it  was  not,  on  this  occasion,  the  carelessness  of  the 
princess,  but  the  deplorable  selfishness  of  the 
King  which  was  the  cause. 

Although  Louis  xiv  had  insisted  on  the  strictest 
precautions  being  taken  by  the  Duchesse  de 
Bourgogne  previous  to  the  birth  of  both  her  sons, 
these  had  certainly  been  dictated  far  more  by  his 
desire  to  see  the  succession  in  the  direct  line  assured 
than  by  solicitude  for  the  princess  herself,  since 
he  did  not  usually  permit  consideration  for  the 
health  or  comfort  even  of  those  most  dear  to  him 
to  interfere  with  his  own  convenience.  In  his 
younger  days,  he  had  compelled  the  Queen  and 
his  mistresses  to  follow  him  in  his  campaigns, 
no  matter  in  what  state  of  health  the  unfortunate 
ladies  happened  to  be  ;  and  his  conduct  in  the 
winter  of  1678-1679,  when,  although  the  roads 
were  in  such  a  terrible  condition  that  the  cumber- 
some coaches  of  the  time  sank  almost  to  their 
axle-trees  in  the  mud  at  every  few  yards,  he  ordered 
Madame  de  Montespan,  then  four  months  enceinte, 
to  accompany  him  to  Lorraine,  was  absolutely 

Early  in  April  1708,  the  King  announced 
his  intention  of  paying  a  visit  to  Marly,  and 
naturally  desired  to  take  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne 
with  him.  The  journey  was  a  short  one,  but  the 
roads  were  rough  ;  Fagon  intimated  that  it  would 
be  very  inadvisable  for  the  princess  to  undertake 
it,  and  Madame  de  Maintenon  suggested  that  the 

1  See  the  author's  "Madame  de  Montespan"  (London,  Harpers; 
New  York,  Scribners,  1903),  pp.  197  et  seq. 

342  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

visit  should  be  abandoned  or  the  young  lady 
left  at  Versailles.  The  egotistical  monarch,  how- 
ever, who,  now  that  his  grand-daughter  had  pre- 
sented her  husband  with  a  son,  saw  no  reason 
why  he  should  any  longer  allow  his  plans  to  be 
disarranged  by  consideration  for  her  health, 
declined  either  to  forego  the  proposed  visit  or  to 
leave  the  princess  behind,  and  all  that  he  would 
consent  to,  was  that  the  journey  should  be  post- 
poned from  the  day  after  Quasimodo  to  the  Wednes- 
day of  the  following  week  (April  18).  But  we  will 
allow  Saint-Simon  to  relate  the  sequel  in  his  own 
words  : 

"  On  the  following  Saturday,  as  the  King  was 
taking  a  walk  after  Mass  and  amusing  himself  at 
the  carp-basin  between  the  chateau  and  the  Per- 
spective,   we   beheld   the   Duchesse   du   Lude   ad- 
vancing towards  him,  on   foot  and   alone,   which, 
as  no  lady  was  with  the  King,  was  a  rare  occurrence 
in    the    morning.     We    understood    that    she    had 
something  of  importance  to  communicate  to  him, 
and  stopped  so  as  to  permit  him  to  join  her.     The 
interview   was   not   long ;   she   withdrew,    and   the 
King  rejoined  us,  without  saying  a  word.     Every- 
one surmised  what  had  happened,  but  no  one  was 
anxious    to    speak.     At    length,    the    King,    when 
quite  close  to  the  basin,  glanced  at  the  principal 
persons  about  him,   and,   without  addressing  any 
one  in  particular,  observed,  with  an  air  of  vexation, 
these  few  words  :  '  The  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  has 
had  a  miscarriage.'  * 

"  M.  de  Bouillon,  the  Due  de  Tresmes,  and  the 

1  " La  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  est  blessie" — "blessee"  being  the 
term  then  in  use  to  denote  accidents  of  this  nature. 

A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY  343 

Marechal  de  Boufflers  repeated  in  a  low  tone  the 
words  I  have  mentioned  ;  while  M.  de  la  Roche- 
foucauld declared  aloud  that  it  was  the  greatest 
misfortune  conceivable,  and  that,  as  she  had  already 
had  miscarriages  on  other  occasions,  she  might 
never,  perhaps,  have  any  more  children. 

"  'And  if  it  should  be  so,'  interrupted  the  King, 
with  a  sudden  burst  of  anger,  '  what  difference 
would  that  make  to  me  ?  Has  she  not  already  a 
son  ?  And,  if  he  died,  is  not  the  Due  de  Berry 
old  enough  to  marry  and  have  one  ?  What  does 
it  signify  to  me  who  succeeds  ?  Are  they  not 
equally  my  grandchildren  ?  '  And  he  added  im- 
petuously :  '  Thank  Heaven  it  has  happened, 
since  it  was  to  be  !  and  I  shall  not  have  my  journeys 
and  my  plans  disarranged  again  by  the  representa- 
tions of  doctors  and  the  arguments  of  matrons.  I 
shall  go  and  come  at  my  pleasure,  and  shall  be 
left  in  peace.' 

"  A  silence  so  deep  that  an  ant  might  have  been 
heard  to  walk  succeeded  this  singular  outburst. 
All  eyes  were  lowered  ;  scarcely  any  one  dared 
to  breathe.  Every  one  seemed  stupefied.  Even 
the  servants  and  the  gardeners  stood  motionless. 

"  This  silence  lasted  more  than  a  quarter  of  an 
hour.  The  King  broke  it  by  leaning  over  the 
balustrade  to  speak  about  a  carp.  No  one  replied. 
He  addressed  himself  subsequently  on  the  subject 
of  the  carp  to  the  servants,  who  did  not  ordinarily 
join  in  the  conversation,  but  spoke  of  nothing  else. 
Presently  the  King  went  away.  As  soon  as  we 
dared  to  look  at  each  other,  our  eyes  met  and  told 
all.  Every  one  present  was,  for  the  moment, 
the   confidant   of   his   neighbour.      We   wondered, 

344  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

we  marvelled,  we  grieved,  we  shrugged  our 
shoulders.  However  distant  may  be  that  scene, 
it  is  always  equally  present  to  me.  M.  de  la 
Rochefoucauld  was  furious  .  .  .  M.  le  Premier 
[the  First  Equerry]  was  ready  to  faint  with  horror ; 
I  myself  examined  every  one  with  my  eyes  and 
ears,  and  commended  myself  for  having  long 
since  been  of  opinion  that  the  King  loved  and 
cared  for  himself  alone,  and  was  himself  his  only 
object  in  life.  This  strange  speech  was  reported 
far  and  wide — much  beyond  Marly." 

It  is  possible  that  Saint-Simon's  weakness  for 
the  sensational  has  here  tempted  him  into  ex- 
aggeration ;  but,  even  if  it  has  not,  it  would  be 
unjust  to  judge  Louis  xiv  too  harshly.  Warped 
though  his  character  was  by  half  a  century  of 
flattery,  adulation,  and  arbitrary  power,  he  was  far 
from  being  the  callous  despot  that  some  historians 
would  have  us  believe  ;  and  we  should  regard 
this  petulant  outburst  on  the  part  of  a  man 
generally  so  dignified  and  self-contained  rather  as 
evidence  of  remorse  for  the  suffering  which  his 
selfishness  had  brought  upon  the  Duchesse  de 
Bourgogne  than  as  an  aggravation  of  his  offence. 

Happily,  the  princess's  mishap  was  followed 
by  no  very  serious  consequences  to  her  health, 
and,  a  fortnight  later,  she  is  able  to  assure  her 
grandmother  that  she  is  "  going  on  very  well  and 
beginning  to  regain  her  strength."  Nevertheless, 
the  year  1708  was  fated  to  prove  one  of  the  most 
trying  of  her  life,  for  scarcely  had  she  recovered 
from  the  effects  of  this  illness,  than  she  was  called 
upon  to  face  troubles  of  another  kind,  which  were 
to  test  to  the  uttermost  those  sound  qualities  of 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  345 

heart  and  mind  which  had  hitherto  lain  concealed 
beneath  a  gay  and  frivolous  exterior,  and  of 
which  she  herself  was  perhaps  as  yet  only  half- 

Since  his  campaign  of  1703  upon  the  Rhine, 
the  Due  de  Bourgogne,  greatly  to  his  disappoint- 
ment, had  remained  without  military  employment. 
Why  Louis  xiv  should  have  been  unwilling  to 
avail  himself  of  his  eldest  grandson's  services  is 
uncertain,  but  the  most  probable  reason  was  his 
belief  that,  although  the  young  prince  had  proved 
himself  a  brave  and  conscientious  officer,  he  had 
no  genius  for  war,  and  that  it  would  be  better 
for  him  to  remain  at  Court,  than  destroy  the 
favourable  impression  he  had  already  made  by 
futile  efforts  to  follow  in  the  footsteps  of  the  Great 
Conde.  However,  as  the  war  proceeded  and 
disaster  followed  upon  disaster,  he  recognised 
that  the  presence  of  the  heir-presumptive  to  the 
throne  might  serve  to  reanimate  the  drooping 
spirits  of  the  French  troops  demoralised  by  con- 
tinuous reverses ;  and  when,  in  the  summer  of 
1707,  Victor  Amadeus  and  Eugene,  flushed  with 
success,  had  the  hardihood  to  invade  Provence 
and  lay  siege  to  Toulon,  he  decided  to  give  the  Due 
de  Bourgogne  the  command  of  the  army  which 
was  intended  to  drive  them  from  French  soil.  But 
the  Allies  found  the  taking  of  Toulon  a  much  more 
difficult  task  than  they  had  bargained  for,  and,  a 
few  days  after  the  prince's  appointment,  raised  the 
siege  and  retreated  across  the  frontier,  to  the 
great  mortification  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne,  but, 
we  may  well  believe,  to  the  no  small  relief  of  the 

346  A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

duchess,  who  would  have  found  herself  in  a 
singularly  embarrassing  situation  with  her  husband 
and  her  father  directly  opposed  to  one  another. 

Compensation  for  the  prince's  disappointment 
was  not  long  delayed.  The  events  of  1707 — the 
triumphs  of  Berwick  in  Spain,  the  raising  of  the 
siege  of  Toulon,  the  defeat  of  the  Margrave  of 
Bayreuth,  by  Villars,  at  Stollhofen,  and  the  success 
of  Vendome's  defensive  campaign  in  the  Nether- 
lands— had  done  much  to  restore  the  confidence  of 
the  French  armies,  and  determined  Louis  xiv 
to  make  great  exertions  to  restore  the  fortunes  of 
war  in  the  following  year. 

It  was,  however,  in  Flanders  that  the  chief 
effort  was  to  be  made.  The  position  of  affairs 
there  afforded  Louis  much  encouragement,  for 
opinion  had  once  more  declared  itself  strongly  for 
Philip  v,  and  a  single  considerable  success  would 
undoubtedly  be  the  signal  for  nearly  every  town 
to  throw  open  its  gates  to  the  French  ;  while  the 
Dutch,  whose  deputies  had  thwarted  Marlborough's 
plans  throughout  the  campaign  of  1707,  were 
known  to  be  weary  of  the  war  and  to  incline  to  a 
separate  peace. 

By  incredible  efforts  the  strength  of  the  Army 
of  Flanders  was  raised  to  close  upon  100,000  men, 
and  the  nominal  command  entrusted  to  the  Due 
de  Bourgogne,  with  Vendome  to  guide  him. 

"  On  April  30,  after  dinner,"  writes  Sourches, 
"  when  the  King  returned  from  hunting  the  stag,  he 
proceeded  to  the  Duchess  de  Bourgogne' s  apart- 
ments, and  informed  her  that  the  Duke  her  husband 
would  set  out  on  May  14,  with  the  Due  de  Berry, 
his   brother,    to   take   the   command   in   Flanders, 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  347 

where    he    would    have    under    him    the    Due    de 
Vendome."  ■ 

Great  was  the  joy  of  the  prince  "  to  find  him- 
self," as  he  wrote  to  Philip  v,  "  after  an  interval 
of  four  whole  years,  re-entering  the  service,  instead 
of  continuing  to  lead  a  useless  life  at  Versailles, 
Fontainebleau,  or  Marly."  His  satisfaction,  how- 
ever, must  have  been  considerably  discounted  by 
the  King's  choice  of  the  general  who  was  to  be 
associated  with  him,  for  no  greater  contrast  could 
possibly  have  been  presented  than  that  between 
the  Due  de  Bourgogne  and  the  victor  of  Cassano 
and  Calcinato  ;  and  it  seems  astonishing  that 
Louis  xiv  could  ever  have  imagined  that  two 
such  contrary  natures  could  work  harmoniously 

Louis  Joseph,  Due  de  Vendome,  at  this  time 
in  his  fifty-fourth  year,  was  the  eldest  son  of  Louis, 
the  second  duke,  who,  after  the  death  of  his  wife, 
Laura  Mancini,  the  eldest  of  the  five  celebrated 
sisters  of  that  name,2  entered  the  priesthood  and 
was  created  a  cardinal  and  Legate  a  latere  in  France. 
He  had,  however,  nothing  in  common  with  his 
devout  father,  and  declared  that  he  "  derived  his 
talents  from  a  more  distant  source,"  that  is  to  say, 
from  Henri  iv,  from  whose  liaison  with  Gabrielle 
d'Estrees  he  was  directly  descended.  It  was  this 
direct  descent  from  the  first  Bourbon  King  which 
probably  accounted  for  the  extreme  indulgence 
with  which  Louis  xiv  treated  Vendome,  for  not 
only  did  he  see  in  him  some  resemblance  to  the 
great  ancestor  whom  he  held  in  almost  super- 
stitious reverence,  but  he  hoped  that  the  elevation 

1  Memoires.  2  See  the  author's  "  Five  Fair  Sisters." 

348  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

of  a  descendant  of  his  grandfather's  amours  might 
justify  to  some  extent  the  elevation  of  his  own 
legitimated  children. 

"  The  King,"  observes  Saint-Simon,  "  tolerated 
in  M.  de  Vendome  what  he  never  would  have 
pardoned  in  a  Son  of  France,"  and  he  proceeds  to 
describe,  with  a  wealth  of  lurid  detail  which  it 
would  be  impossible  to  reproduce,  the  character  of 
this  extraordinary  personage,  who,  according  to 
him,  combined  the  most  nauseous  of  all  vices  with 
a  "  ravenous  pride,"  an  intolerable  insolence,  and 
a  filthiness  of  person  which  revolted  all  decent- 
minded  men. 

Saint-Simon  probably  exaggerates.  Neverthe- 
less, there  can  be  no  doubt  that  Vendome  was 
shamelessly  immoral,  overbearing  and  insolent 
towards  persons  of  his  own  rank,  though  affable 
and  familiar  with  his  inferiors,  and  inconceivably 
slovenly  and  dirty  in  his  personal  habits — a  fault 
which  he  shared  with  his  younger  brother,  the 
Grand  Prior.1  But  what  must  have  been  quite 
as  obnoxious  to  Louis  xiv,  was  the  fact  that  his 
kinsman  was  a  sceptic,  and  that,  unlike  most  of 
the  "  Libertines "  who,  from  fear  of  the  royal 
displeasure,  were  careful  to  comply  with  the 
religious  observances  which  custom  enjoined,  he  did 
not  hesitate  to  avow  his  opinions,  which  renders 
the  indulgence  the  King  extended  to  him  all  the 
more  remarkable. 

It  must  be  admitted,  however,  that  the  vices 
and  faults  of  Vendome   were   redeemed  by  great 

1  "  These  two  princes,  great-grandsons  of  Henri  iv,  neglected 
their  persons  to  a  degree  of  which  the  lowliest  of  men  would  have 
been  ashamed." — Voltaire. 



A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  349 

qualities.  "  He  had,"  Saint-Simon  confesses,  "  a 
very  noble  countenance  and  a  distinguished  bearing. 
He  was  naturally  graceful  in  his  movements  and 
in  his  speech,  possessed  much  innate  wit,  which 
he  had  never  cultivated  ;  spoke  easily,  supported 
by  a  natural  boldness  ;  knew  the  world  and  the 
Court,  and  was,  above  all  things,  an  admirable 
courtier.  Voltaire  mentions  other  and  more 
attractive  qualities,  about  which  Saint-Simon  is 
silent.  He  was,  he  tells  us,  "  intrepid  as  Henri  iv, 
kind,  benevolent,  unaffected,  incapable  of  harbour- 
ing envy,  hatred  or  vengeance,  and,  if  haughty 
towards  the  princes,  willing  to  treat  all  other 
persons  as  equals."  x 

Vendome  also  possessed  military  talents  of  a 
high  order,  but  they  were  often  neutralised  by  his 
defects  of  character.  His  indolence  was  almost 
incredible.  When  he  had  found  quarters  to  his 
liking,  nothing  was  so  difficult  as  to  induce  him 
to  resume  his  march.  He  rose  late — sometimes, 
if  we  are  to  believe  Voltaire,  not  until  four  o'clock 
in  the  afternoon — never  broke  up  camp  before 
midday,  and  invariably  halted  at  nightfall.  Such 
was  his  carelessness,  that  he  sometimes  neglected 
to  post  his  sentries  or  to  send  out  patrols,  and,  on 
more  than  one  occasion,  he  allowed  himself  to  be 
surprised  by  the  enemy  for  lack  of  the  commonest 
precautions  ;  while  the  provisioning  of  his  troops 
seems  to  have  been  left  very  much  to  chance. 

When,  however,  he  was  roused  by  any  great 
emergency,  he  was  a  wholly  different  man.  Then 
his  energy  and  resource  were  such  as  had  been 
found   in   no   French    general    since    the    death   of 

1  Siicle  de  Louis  xiv. 

3  50  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

Luxembourg,  and  "  in  the  day  of  battle  he  made 
amends  for  all,  by  his  presence  of  mind  and  by  a 
genius  which  danger  rendered  the  more  dazzling."  x 

He  had  the  eye  of  a  hawk  for  a  weak  spot  in 
the  enemy's  line  ;  he  seemed  to  divine  instinctively 
the  exact  moment  when  a  charge  could  be  delivered 
with  the  greatest  prospect  of  success  ;  the  white 
plume  which,  in  imitation  of  the  hero  of  Ivry,  it 
was  his  custom  to  wear  in  his  hat,  might  always  be 
descried  at  the  point  where  the  greatest  danger 
threatened,  and  his  splendid  courage  communicated 
itself  to  every  man  under  his  command.  The 
soldiers  and  the  junior  officers  adored  him,  for  he 
allowed  them  all  the  license  which  he  took  himself, 
had  a  cheery  word  for  all,  and  would  jest  and  drink 
at  the  camp-fires  with  the  youngest  recruit.  "  He 
was  the  only  general,"  says  Voltaire,  "  under  whom 
the  duty  of  serving,  and  that  ferocious  instinct, 
purely  animal  and  mechanical,  which  obeys  the 
voice  of  the  officers,  did  not  drive  the  soldiers  to 
the  combat.  They  fought  for  the  Due  de  Vendome  ; 
they  would  have  given  their  lives  to  extricate  him 
from  one  of  those  false  positions  in  which  the 
impetuosity  of  his  genius  sometimes  involved 
him."  2 

Greatly  favoured  by  Fortune,  which  had  saved 
him  from  the  disastrous  consequences  which  his 
indolence  and  negligence  might  have  been  expected 

1  Siicle  de  Louis  xiv. 

2  Sidcle  de  Louis  xiv.  A  touching  instance  of  the  devotion  of 
which  Voltaire  speaks  is  related  by  Saint-Hilaire  in  his  Mimoires. 
At  the  Battle  of  Luzzara,  Vendome's  horse  was  killed  under  him, 
and,  as  he  was  endeavouring  to  rise,  an  Austrian  soldier  advanced 
and  levelled  his  musket  at  him.  At  that  moment,  Cotteron,  the 
captain  of  his  guards,  rushed  forward,  threw  himself  before  him,  and 
received  in  his  own  body  the  ball  intended  for  his  chief. 

A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY  35  i 

to  entail,  Vendome's  military  record  was  a  brilliant 
one.     Beginning  his  career  in  1673,  as  a  subaltern 
in  the  Garde  du  Corps,  he  passed  through  every 
grade  to  that  of  lieutenant-general,  and  could  have 
asserted,  without   fear   of   contradiction,   that   his 
advancement      had      been      thoroughly      earned. 
Although   he   showed   courage   and   ability   in   his 
early   campaigns   in   Holland,    Germany,    and   the 
Netherlands,  and  had  at  the  time  of  the  Peace  of 
Nimeguen  attained  the  rank  of  marechal  de  camp, 
it  was  not  until  the  war  against   the   League   of 
Augsburg  began  that  he  was  afforded  much  oppor- 
tunity for  distinction.     His  chance  came  at  Steen- 
kirke,  where  the  brilliant  cavalry  charges  which  he 
led    checked    the    advance    of     the    English    and 
materially    contributed    to    Luxembourg's    victory. 
From    the    Netherlands,    he    passed   to    Piedmont, 
where  he  commanded  the  left  wing  of  the  French 
in   the    Battle   of   Marsaglia    (October    1693)    and, 
eighteen  months  later,  Louis  xiv  decided  to  give 
him    the    command    of    the    troops    in    Catalonia. 
This  proved  a  most  happy  choice,  and  a  series  of 
successes  closed  in  August  1697  with  the  capture 
of  Barcelona.     Of  Vendome's  campaigns  in  Italy 
during  the  early  years  of  the  War  of  the  Spanish 
Succession  we  have  already  spoken. 

When,  in  the  summer  of  1706,  Vendome  returned 
from  Italy,  he  found  himself  a  popular  hero,  since, 
in  times  of  national  crisis,  generals  who  have  never 
suffered  reverses  soon  attain  immense  popularity, 
and  people  are  inclined  to  exaggerate  their  services 
and  attribute  to  them  talents  far  beyond  those 
which  they  possess.  "  There  was  a  terrible 
hubbub,"     writes     Saint-Simon ;     "  boys,     sedan- 

35  2  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

chairmen,  all  the  lackeys  of  the  Court,  left  their 
work  to  swarm  round  his  post-chaise.  Scarcely 
had  he  ascended  to  his  chamber,  when  every  one 
rushed  thither.  The  Princes  of  the  Blood  were 
the  first  to  arrive  ;  the  Ministers  hastened  after 
them,  and  no  one  was  left  in  the  salon  but  the 
ladies.  In  a  few  minutes,  he  was  sent  for  by  the 
King  and  Monseigneur,  and,  so  soon  as  he  could 
dress,  he  went  to  the  salon,  carried  rather  than 
accompanied  by  the  crowd  which  surrounded  him. 
Monseigneur  stopped  the  music  that  was  being 
played  in  order  to  embrace  him.  The  King  left 
his  cabinet,  where  he  was  at  work,  came  out  to 
meet  him,  and  embraced  him  several  times. 
Chamillart,  on  the  morrow,  gave  a  fete  in  his 
honour,  which  lasted  two  days.  Pontchartrain, 
Torcy,  and  the  most  distinguished  noblemen  of 
the  Court  followed  his  example.  People  begged 
and  entreated  to  be  allowed  to  offer  him  fetes  ; 
people  begged  and  entreated  to  be  invited  to  them. 
Never  was  triumph  equal  to  his  ;  each  step  he 
took  procured  him  a  new  one."  x 

The  enthusiasm  of  the  Parisians  surpassed 
even  the  enthusiasm  of  the  Court.  When  he 
went  to  Paris  to  attend  a  performance  of  Lulli's 
Roland,  which  the  Opera  gave  in  his  honour, 
cheering  crowds  lined  the  streets ;  every  seat 
in  the  boxes  and  the  amphitheatre  was  engaged  a 
week  in  advance,  and,  though  prices  had  been 
doubled,  the  parterre  was  unable  to  accommodate 
half  the  people  who  clamoured  for  admission. 
From  the  moment  that  the  hero  of  the  evening 
took  his  seat  until  the  opera  began,  the    audience 

1  Memoires. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  353 

did  nothing  but  clap  and  shout,  Vive  Venddme  ! 
and  the  ovation  was  repeated  at  the  close  of  the 
performance.  "If  he  had  remained  in  his  box," 
writes  Sourches,  "  no  one  would  have  quitted  the 
Opera."  x 

All  this  adulation  might  well  have  turned  the 
head  of  a  far  more  modest  man  than  Vendome, 
whose  natural  haughtiness  it  aggravated  to  such 
a  degree  that  he  actually  declined  the  post  of 
"  Marshal-general  of  the  camps  and  armies  of  the 
King,"  which  had  never  been  conferred  upon 
any  one  since  the  death  of  Turenne,  because  the 
patent  contained  no  allusion  to  his  birth.  We 
can  therefore  readily  understand  that  he  must 
have  learned  with  very  mixed  feelings  that  he 
was  to  be  associated  in  the  following  campaign 
with  a  young  prince,  under  whose  orders  he  would 
be  nominally  at  least,  and  who  would  rob  him 
of  a  share  of  the  glory  which  he  confidently  ex- 
pected to  reap.  Besides,  sceptic  and  profligate 
that  he  was,  he  disliked  and  despised  the  Due  de 
Bourgogne  as  a  sanctimonious  bookworm,  who 
was  incapable  of  appreciating  the  good  things  of 
life  and  allowed  priests  and  devots  to  lead  him 
by  the  nose  ;  and  he  did  not  doubt  that  some 
of  the  officers  whom  the  King  had  chosen  to 
accompany  his  grandson  to  the  army  would  en- 
courage him  to  question  the  general's  decisions 
and  thwart  his  plans. 

That  Louis  xiv  should  have  anticipated  that 
anything  but  disaster  could  result  from  the  associa- 
tion of  two  men,  beside  whom  fire  and  water  were 
congenial  elements,  is  difficult  to  understand.     Yet, 

1  Mimoires. 


354  A  R0SE  0F  SAVOY 

so  far  from  entertaining  any  misgivings  on  the 
subject,  he  seems  to  have  flattered  himself  that  he 
had  made  a  singularly  happy  choice.  The  Due 
de  Bourgogne's  presence,  he  believed,  would  inspire 
the  soldiers  with  a  new  vigour  ;  his  zealous  and 
punctual  discharge  of  his  duties  would  shame 
Vendome  out  of  the  indolence  and  negligence 
which  had  more  than  once  brought  him  to  the 
brink  of  disaster  ;  his  caution  would  temper  his 
colleague's  audacity,  and  his  strict  ideas  of  dis- 
cipline would  serve  as  a  useful  check  upon  the 
license  which  the  other  was  accustomed  to  allow 
his  troops. 

All  this  was  explained  by  the  excellent  Beau- 
villiers  to  Saint-Simon,  who,  unlike  his  friend, 
by  no  means  shared  his  Majesty's  optimism.  But 
the  chronicler  tells  us  that  he  declined  to  be  con- 
vinced, and  predicted  that  the  struggle  which  was 
bound  to  ensue  between  two  characters  so  opposed 
must  result  in  the  triumph  of  the  stronger,  and 
that  "  while  Vendome  emerged  from  it  covered 
with  glory,  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  would  be  ruined 
at  the  Court,  in  France,  and  in  all  Europe."  And 
he  adds,  complacently  :  "  He  soon  had  good  cause 
to  admit  that  I  had  not  spoken  without  justice." 

Saint-Simon's  forebodings  were  strengthened 
by  the  knowledge  that  there  existed  at  the  Court 
a  party,  numerically  insignificant  but,  in  other 
respects,  decidedly  formidable,  which  for  some 
time  past  had  been  actively  intriguing  to  destroy 
the  credit  of  the  Due  and  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne. 

The  moving  spirits  of  this  cabal  were  two  of 
Louis  xiv's  legitimated  daughters,  the  Princesse 
de  Conti  and  Madame  la  Duchesse,  of  whom  we 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  355 

have  had  occasion  to  speak  at  some  length  in 
an  earlier  chapter.  These  ladies  disliked  each 
other  heartily,  but  they  hated  the  Duchesse  de 
Bourgogne.  During  the  period  which  separated 
the  retirement  of  Madame  de  Montespan  from  the 
arrival  of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne,  the  beautiful 
and  charming  daughter  of  Louise  de  la  Valliere, 
thanks  to  her  influence  over  Monseigneur  and 
attractions  of  mind  and  person  which  far  surpassed 
those  of  Madame  and  the  Duchesse  de  Chartres — 
her  superiors  in  rank — had  occupied  a  sort  of  semi- 
royal  position,  and  she  had  seen  with  bitter  morti- 
fication the  homage  which  she  had  come  to  regard 
as  her  due  transferred  to  the  young  princess  from 
Savoy.  The  position  of  Madame  la  Duchesse, 
less  attractive  and  less  courted  than  her  half- 
sister,  had  been  naturally  less  affected  by  the  advent 
of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  ;  but  she  had  inherited 
to  the  full  her  mother's  jealous  and  vindictive 
nature,  and  the  extraordinary  degree  of  favour 
enjoyed  by  that  fortunate  young  lady  was  quite 
sufficient  to  inspire  her  with  the  bitterest  enmity. 

The  two  princesses  found  a  couple  of  efficient 
allies  of  their  own  sex  in  the  Princesse  d'Espinoy, 
and  her  younger  sister,  Mile,  le  Lillebonne,  members 
of  the  ambitious  and  intriguing  House  of  Lorraine,1 
the  latter  of  whom  was  believed  to  have  contracted 
a  secret  marriage  with  the  late  Monsieur's  unworthy 
favourite,  the  Chevalier  de  Lorraine.  The  two 
ladies  in  question,  who,  according  to  Saint-Simon, 
1  exuded  the  spirit  of  the  League  at  every  pore," 

1  Their  mother,  Anne  de  Lorraine,  Princesse  de  Lillebonne,  was 
a  daughter  of  Charles  iv.  Duke  of  Lorraine,  and  Beatrix  de  Cante- 
croix,  and  sister  to  the  Prince  de  Vaudemont,  already  mentioned. 

356  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

had  attached  themselves  to  the  interests  of  the 
Princesse  de  Conti,  and  founded  their  hopes  of 
advancement  on  their  patroness's  recovery  of  her 
lost  supremacy. 

Although  these  four  women  exercised  the  con- 
trolling influence  in  the  cabal,  the  male  element, 
which  was  animated  by  hostility  to  the  Due  de 
Bourgogne  rather  than  to  his  wife,  was  not  un- 
important, and  included  Vendome,  and  his  younger 
brother,  the  Grand  Prior, — who  was  a  sort  of 
understudy  of  the  duke  in  the  matter  of  morals — 
the  Due  du  Maine,  his  half-brother  d' Antin,  the  Due 
de  Luxembourg,  son  of  the  victor  of  Steenkerke 
and  Neerwinden,  and  the  Marechal  d'Huxelles. 

The  object  of  the  cabal  was  twofold  :  to  estrange 
Monseigneur  from  his  eldest  son  and  daughter- 
in-law,  so  as  to  insure  that,  when  that  prince  should 
ascend  the  throne,  they  would  be  reduced  to  im- 
potence, and  to  destroy  the  influence  of  the  Duchesse 
de  Bourgogne  with  the  King. 

The  first  part  of  this  programme  presented 
comparatively  little  difficulty,  since  all  the  con- 
spirators were  welcome  guests  at  Meudon,  and  the 
seed  they  sowed  fell  on  ground  which  needed  no 
tilling.  The  Dauphin,  though  he  was  as  much 
attached  as  his  lethargic  nature  would  permit 
to  the  lively  young  Due  de  Berry,  had  never  cared 
for  his  eldest  son,  whose  ascetic  and  studious  life 
was  a  tacit  reproach  to  his  own  sensual  and  aimless 
existence,  and  he  was  jealous  of  the  high  opinion 
which  the  King  entertained  of  him  and  the  favour 
enjoyed  by  his  wife.  The  task  of  poisoning  his 
mind  against  the  Due  and  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne 
was   soon   accomplished,  and,   though    the    young 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  357 

prince  endeavoured  to  disarm  his  growing  hostility 
by  treating  Mile,  de  Choin  with  the  greatest 
deference  whenever  he  visited  his  father's  country- 
seat,  and  by  directing  his  wife  to  sit  on  a  stool 
instead  of  an  arm-chair  in  her  presence,  it  was  to 
no  purpose  ;  the  "  Parvulos  "  of  Meudon,  as  the 
Court  called  the  Dauphin's  house-parties,  gradually 
became  the  centre  of  all  that  was  hostile  to  husband 
or  wife,  and  it  was  very  evident  that,  if  Monseigneur 
survived  the  King,  they  would  find  themselves 
entirely  without  influence  in  the  new  reign. 

But  the  second  object  of  the  conspirators  was 
infinitely  more  difficult  of  attainment  ;  indeed, 
they  recognised  that  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne 
had  secured  far  too  firm  a  hold  upon  Louis  xiv's 
affections  to  be  dispossessed  by  any  direct  form  of 
attack.  Their  only  hope  of  success  was  to  strike 
at  the  wife  through  the  husband ;  to  wait  for 
some  opportunity  of  ruining  the  duke's  credit 
with  the  King,  and,  in  so  doing,  to  undermine, 
if  they  could  not  destroy,  that  of  the  duchess 
also.  This  opportunity  arrived  with  the  campaign 
of  1708. 


Departure  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  for  Flanders — His  interview 
with  Fenelon  at  Cambrai — Conduct  of  the  Dues  de  Bourgogne  and 
de  Berry  towards  the  Chevalier  de  Saint-Georges — Composition  of 
the  Army  of  Flanders — Anomalous  relations  of  the  Due  de  Bour- 
gogne and  Vendome — Position  of  the  Allies — Advance  of  the 
French — Differences  between  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  and  Vendome 
retain  the  army  inactive  for  a  month — Occupations  of  the  prince 
— Ghent  and  Bruges  taken  by  the  French,  who  advance  to  the 
Scheldt,  with  the  intention  of  investing  Oudenarde — Eugene  joins 
Marlborough  at  Brussels — The  Allies,  by  a  rapid  march,  interpose 
themselves  between  the  enemy  and  his  own  frontier — Battle  of 
Oudenarde — Question  of  the  responsibility  for  the  defeat  of  the 
French  considered 

ON  May  14, 1708,  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  quitted 
Versailles  and  set  out  for  Flanders.  It  was 
the  anniversary  of  the  death  of  Louis  xiii, 
and  the  fact  that  the  King,  who  was  decidedly 
superstitious,  had  selected  that  day  for  the  departure 
of  his  grandson  seems  to  have  excited  not  a  little 
surprise.  The  Duke's  parting  with  his  wife  was, 
according  to  the  Mevcure,  a  very  tender  one,  and 
"  the  extent  to  which  this  princess  was  affected 
after  the  departure  of  her  husband  revealed  to  the 
whole  Court  the  grief  by  which  she  was  over- 
whelmed and  the  affection  which  she  entertained 
for  the  prince/'  x 

To    accompany    the    Due    de    Bourgogne    and 
assist  him  with  their  advice,  Louis  xiv  had  nominated 

1  Mevcure  de  France,  May  1708. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  359 

the  Marquis  de  Puysegur,  the  Comte  de  Gamaches, 
and  the  Marquis  d'O,  one  of  the  Prince's  menins. 
The  first  named,  who  had  already  served  with  dis- 
tinction in  several  campaigns  in  Flanders,  was  an 
excellent  choice  ;  but  as  much  could  not  be  said 
for  the  others,  and  d'O,  in  particular,  who  appears 
to  have  considered  that  all  other  considerations 
ought  to  be  subordinated  to  the  personal  safety  of 
his  master,  was  to  prove  himself  a  deplorable  mentor. 

As  had  happened  on  the  prince's  journey  to 
Flanders  six  years  before,  he  again  stopped  at 
Cambrai,  where  another  meeting  took  place  between 
him  and  Fenelon.  They  had  not  met  in  the 
interval,  but  their  feelings  towards  one  another 
had  undergone  no  change.  "  The  young  prince 
embraced  his  preceptor  tenderly  several  times, 
and  said  aloud  that  he  would  never  forget  the 
great  obligations  under  which  he  had  placed  him, 
and,  though  he  said  nothing  which  could  not  be 
heard  by  others,  he  spoke  only  to  him,  and  the 
intensity  of  the  gaze  which  he  fixed  on  the  arch- 
bishop, coupled  with  the  first  words  he  addressed 
to  him,  atoned  for  all  that  the  King  had  forbidden, 
and  thrilled  all  the  spectators."  l  A  few  days 
later,  the  prince  wrote  to  the  archbishop,  asking 
for  his  prayers  on  his  behalf,  and  engaging  him  to 
assist  him  with  his  advice  in  the  many  difficulties 
with  which  he  was  bound  to  be  confronted.  Fenelon 
readily  consented  and  sent  his  pupil  much  excellent 
counsel,  not  only  on  spiritual  matters,  but  on 
those  connected  with  his  military  duties. 

At  Valenciennes,  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  was 
met    by    Vendome,   who    had    preceded    him    and 

1  Saint-Simon,  Memoires. 



established  his  headquarters  at  Mons ;  and  here 
he  was  also  joined  by  the  Due  de  Berry  and  James 
Stuart,  the  heir  of  James  n,  lately  returned  from 
his  abortive  expedition  to  the  Scotch  coast,  who 
served  incognito,  under  the  name  of  the  Chevalier 
de  Saint-Georges.  The  two  French  princes,  Saint- 
Simon  confesses,  "  took  advantage  of  the  modesty 
of  this  prince  to  treat  him  with  the  greatest  in- 
difference and  disdain."  And,  though  the  Comte 
de  Gamaches,  who  was  accustomed  to  speak  his 
mind  freely,  expostulated  with  them  warmly  on 
their  conduct,  his  remonstrances  were  unheeded. 

On  May  26,  the  Army  of  Flanders  was  passed 
in  review  by  the  Due  de  Bourgogne,  "  who  was 
very  satisfied  with  it."  He  had  certainly  every 
reason  for  his  satisfaction,  since  it  was  not  only 
numerically  imposing,  but  comprised  the  best 
regiments  in  the  French  service,  commanded  for 
the  most  part  by  experienced  officers  ;  was  excep- 
tionally strong  in  artillery ;  possessed  an  admir- 
able commissariat,  and  was  animated  by  the  finest 
spirit.  In  short,  nothing  which  makes  for  victory 
was  wanting,  with  the  exception  of  efficient  general- 
ship, and,  unhappily  for  France,  the  efforts  of  this 
splendid  force  were  to  be  entirely  paralysed  by 
the  dual  control  under  which  it  had  been  placed. 
For  Louis  xiv's  instructions  had  been  so  contra- 
dictory that  neither  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  nor 
Vendome  really  knew  how  far  his  authority  ex- 
tended ;  each  considered  himself  entitled  to  the  last 
word,  yet  neither  was  willing  to  take  upon  himself 
the  responsibility  for  any  important  movement. 

Meanwhile,  the  allies  had  not  been  idle.     The 
Anglo-Dutch    army,    of    which    Marlborough    had 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  361 

taken  the  command  on  May  9,  lay  at  Ghent,  and 
it  had  been  arranged  that  Eugene,  who  commanded 
the  Army  of  the  Moselle,  should  elude  Berwick,1 
who  had  been  sent  to  hold  him  in  check,  and  unite 
his  forces  with  those  of  the  duke.  Marlborough 
was  eager  for  battle,  for  a  striking  success  was 
imperative  in  order  to  revive  the  waning  zeal  of 
the  Dutch  and  save  the  tottering  Government  at 
home.  But  his  inferiority  in  numbers  rendered 
it  inadvisable  for  him  to  risk  an  engagement  until 
the  arrival  of  Eugene,  and  he  therefore  reluctantly 
decided  to  remain  on  the  defensive. 

In  the  last  days  of  May,  the  French  army 
advanced  from  Mons,  with  the  intention,  apparently, 
of  marching  on  Antwerp,  where  a  rising  in  favour 
of  Philip  v  was  expected.  Marlborough,  however, 
had  got  wind  of  this  affair,  and,  hurrying  from 
Ghent,  barred  the  way  ;  and  the  French  thereupon 
turned  to  the  east  and  halted  at  Braine-l'Alleud, 
near  the  field  of  Waterloo,  in  a  position  threatening 
at  once  both  Louvain  and  Brussels.  Four  leagues 
only  separated  the  two  armies,  and,  if  either  had 
made  a  forward  movement,  they  would  probably 
have  met  on  the  same  ground  which  a  century 
later  witnessed  the  final  overthrow  of  Napoleon. 
A  decisive  action,  indeed,  seemed  imminent ;  but 
Marlborough,  whose  plan  was  to  remain  on  the 
defensive,  fell  back  to  Pare,  in  order  to  cover 
Louvain,  and  took  up  so  strong  a  position  that 
Vendome  and  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  decided  to 
leave  him  unmolested.2 

1  James  Fitzjames,  Duke  of  Berwick  (1670-1733),  son  of  James  II, 
by  Marlborough's  sister,  Arabella  Churchill. 

2  "Marlborough's  Despatches,"  vol.  iv.  ;  Allison,  "The  Military 
Life  of  John,  Duke  of  Marlborough." 

362  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

Hitherto  the  two  French  commanders  had  been 
in  accord,  but  now  differences  arose.  Vendome 
proposed  that  they  should  lay  siege  to  the  small 
town  of  Huy  on  the  Meuse,  which  promised  them 
an  easy  prey;  but  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  objected, 
apparently  on  the  ground  that  the  place  was  not 
of  sufficient  importance  to  justify  the  exclusive 
attentions  of  so  powerful  an  army.  As  neither 
would  give  way,  it  was  decided  to  ask  for  instruc- 
tions from  Versailles  ;  and  Louis  xiv  upheld  his 
grandson.  Vendome  next  suggested  that  an 
attempt  should  be  made  to  surprise  Brussels,  where 
the  citizens  were  known  to  be  ready  to  welcome 
the  French  with  open  arms.  This  enterprise, 
however,  was  regarded  by  the  prince  as  far  too 
hazardous,  and  his  view  was  shared  by  the  King, 
who  was  again  appealed  to.  The  whole  of  June 
was  wasted  in  these  discussions,  while  the  army 
remained  at  Braine-rAlleud,  from  which  neither 
of  its  leaders  seemed  to  be  in  any  hurry  to  depart  ; 
Vendome,  because  he  had  found  very  comfortable 
quarters  ;  the  Due  de  Bourgogne,  because  he  appears 
to  have  been  satisfied  to  occupy  "  a  position  which 
enabled  them  to  bear  to  right  or  left,  according  as 
they  pleased,"  and  he  expresses  a  hope  that  "  the 
campaign  which  had  commenced  so  well,  would 
continue  the  same."  1  For  all  that  the  French 
army  had  effected  up  to  this  time,  it  might  just 
as  well  have  remained  in  its  winter  quarters  ! 

The  blame  for  this  deplorable  inaction,  however, 
undoubtedly  lay  with  Vendome,  since  it  was 
obviously  the  duty  of  a  general  of  his  experience 

1  Letter  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  to  Philip  v,  June  20,  1708, 
published  by  the  Comte  d'Haussonville. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  363 

to  have  advocated  a  bold  plan  of  campaign,  and, 
if  he  had  proposed  to  advance  against  Marlborough, 
and  endeavour  to  force  him  to  an  engagement 
while  the  Allies  were  still  inferior  to  the  French, 
there  is  no  reason  to  suppose  that  the  Due  de 
Bourgogne,  who  was  eager  to  win  his  spurs,  would 
have  offered  any  opposition.  Nevertheless,  so  far 
as  the  prince  himself  was  concerned,  the  time 
passed  at  Braine-FAlleud  was  far  from  being  a 
period  of  idleness,  and  he  exerted  himself  to  some 
purpose  to  re-establish  discipline  among  the  soldiers, 
while  paying  the  greatest  attention  to  their  health 
and  comfort.  He,  at  the  same  time,  combated 
the  luxurious  habits  of  the  officers,  to  whom  he 
prohibited  the  use  of  carriages,  and  himself  set 
them  the  example,  by  using  only  horses. 

The  duke  had  brought  his  confessor,  the  worthy 
Pere  Martineau  with  him,  and  his  religious  duties 
were  performed  with  the  same  regularity  as  when 
at  Versailles.  The  whole  army,  the  Mercure  assures 
us,  was  "  edified  by  his  piety  "  ;  and  it  relates  that 
on  June  7,  which  was  a  Saint's-Day,  his  Royal 
Highness  ordered  a  procession  on  the  place  of 
Braine-l'Alleud  and  followed  it  on  foot,  in  conse- 
quence of  which  he  did  not  mount  his  horse  to 
visit  the  outposts  until  the  afternoon.  The  Mercure 
adds,  with  unconscious  irony  :  "  The  morning  of 
the  same  day,  Milord  Marlborough,  accompanied 
by  several  generals,  went  to  reconnoitre  the  fords 
and  ground  along  the  Dyle."  ' 

However,  in  the  first  week  in  July,  the  Army 
of   Flanders  at  last   did  something  to  justify  its 

1  Mercure  de    France,   June    1708  ;    Comte    d'Haussonville,   la 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  et  V Alliance  savoy arde  sous  Louis  xiv. 

364  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

existence.  Among  those  who  had  accompanied 
the  Due  de  Bourgogne  to  Flanders,  was  the  Comte 
de  Bergeyck,  who  had  occupied  the  post  of 
Minister  of  Finance  of  the  Spanish  Netherlands, 
until  the  successes  of  the  Allies  had  obliged  him 
to  seek  refuge  in  France.  Bergeyck  had  been 
busily  intriguing  for  some  time  past  with  the 
partisans  of  Philip  v  in  the  principal  Flemish 
towns,  and  he  now  proposed  that  advantage 
should  be  taken  of  the  disaffection  which  existed 
in  Ghent  and  Bruges  to  make  a  sudden  descent 
upon  these  two  places.  His  advice  was  acted 
upon,  and  the  attentions  of  the  Allied  army  having 
been  momentarily  diverted  by  a  feint  in  another 
direction,  two  French  divisions  swooped  down 
upon  Ghent  and  Bruges,  and,  with  the  help  of  the 
citizens,  took  them  both,  almost  without  striking 
a  blow  (July  4). 

The  capture  of  these  two  towns — and  particu- 
larly of  Ghent — was  a  success  of  real  importance, 
and  had  it  been  followed  up  by  that  of  Oudenarde, 
the  French  would  have  been  masters  of  the  whole 
course  of  the  Scheldt,  and  Marlborough's  water 
communications  would  have  been  entirely  cut. 
But  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  and  Vendome  could 
not  agree  as  to  the  manner  in  which  this  was  to  be 
attempted,  and  the  arbitration  of  Louis  xiv  had 
again  to  be  sought ;  and  this  entailed  so  much 
delay,  that  it  was  not  until  July  10  that  the  French 
army  reached  the  banks  of  the  Scheldt,  where  it 
took  up  its  position  at  Gavre,  some  leagues  below 

In  the  meantime,  Marlborough  had  been  joined 
by  Eugene,  who  had  arrived  at  Brussels  on  July  6. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  365 

Eugene's  army  was  still  far  away,  and  the  prince 
had  hurried  on,  attended  only  by  his  staff.  How- 
ever, his  presence  alone  was  worth  a  considerable 
force,  and  the  English  general  welcomed  him 
warmly.  '  I  am  not  without  hope,"  said  he, 
V  of  congratulating  your  Highness  on  a  great 
victory  ;  for  my  troops  will  be  animated  by  the 
presence  of  so  distinguished  a  commander." 

The  two  great  captains  lost  no  time  in  deciding 
on  their  course  of  action.  Instead  of  advancing 
directly  against  the  enemy,  they  resolved  to  throw 
themselves  between  him  and  his  own  frontier,  cut 
him  off  from  his  base  of  operations,  and  compel 
him  to  fight  with  his  face  towards  Paris  and  his 
back  to  Antwerp. 

This  plan  was  as  brilliantly  executed  as  it  was 
admirably  conceived,  and,  marching  rapidly  south- 
wards, the  Allies  crossed  the  Dender  on  the  morning 
of  July  10,  and  took  up  a  strong  position  at  Les- 
sines,  between  Oudenarde  and  the  frontier.1 

Intelligence  of  the  alarming  situation  in  which 
they  were  placed  reached  the  French  camp  on 
the  evening  of  the  same  day,  but,  according  to 
Saint-Simon,  Vendome  "  treated  it  with  contempt, 
according  to  his  custom,"  and,  though  the  Due  de 
Bourgogne  urged  that  they  should  cross  the 
Scheldt  that  night,  and  endeavour  to  outstrip 
the  enemy  and  re-establish  their  communications 
with  France,  he  declined  to  move  until  the  following 

However  that  may  be,  it  is  probable  that  the 
passage  of  the  river  might  have  been  postponed  with 
safety  until  the  next  day,  if  all  preparations  for  it 

1  Allison,  "Life  of  Marlborough." 

366  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

had  been  completed  during  the  night.  But,  in- 
conceivable as  it  may  appear,  when  morning  came, 
the  bridges  were  not  ready,  and  their  construction 
entailed  so  much  delay,  that  when  at  length  the 
vanguard  under  Biron  reached  the  left  bank,  it 
found  the  whole  of  the  Allied  cavalry  and  twelve 
battalions,  which,  under  the  command  of  General 
Cadogan,  had  crossed  the  river  at  dawn,  strongly 
posted  on  the  summit  of  some  rising  ground, 
opposite  the  village  of  Eynes. 

The  battle  which  followed  has  been  described 
in  detail  by  so  many  military  historians  that  a  very 
brief  account  will  here  suffice. 

Biron,  on  perceiving  the  enemy,  immediately 
sent  an  aide-de-camp  to  inform  Vendome  ;  but 
that  general,  who  had  not  risen  till  ten  o'clock * 
and  was  tranquilly  eating  his  breakfast,  at  first 
refused  to  credit  the  news  ;  and  it  was  not  until 
two  other  aides-de-camp  had  arrived  hard  upon 
each  other's  heels,  that,  "  declaring  that  devils 
must  have  brought  the  enemy,"  he  sent  orders  to 
Biron  to  attack,  promising  to  support  him  im- 

After  an  obstinate  struggle,  Cadogan  was 
driven  back,  but  his  resistance  had  given  the  main 
body  of  the  Allies  time  to  cross  the  Scheldt  and 
form  in  order  of  battle,  while  the  bulk  of  the  French 
were  still  passing  the  river.  Vendome  and  the  Due 
de  Bourgogne,  entirely  disconcerted  at  finding 
themselves  engaged  in  a  battle  which  neither  had 
foreseen,     issued     contradictory     orders  ;     several 

1  Vendome  himself  admitted  this  in  a  despatch  to  the  King, 
giving  as  an  excuse  that  he  had  been  thirty  hours  in  the  saddle,  and 
was  ill. 

2  Saint-Simon,  M6moires. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  367 

regiments  as  they  came  hurrying  up  in  column 
were  charged  and  broken  before  they  were  able 
to  deploy  ;  cavalry  and  infantry  were  mixed  up 
together,  and  the  utmost  confusion  prevailed. 

Nevertheless,  the  French  fought  with  splendid 
courage,  and,  if  Vendome,  who  dismounted  from 
his  horse  and  led  the  infantry  of  the  left  wing  in 
person,  had  only  displayed  half  as  much  ability 
as  he  did  valour,  the  day  might  still  have  been 
theirs.  But,  as  evening  was  falling,  the  old  Dutch 
general,  Marshal  Overkirk,  with  the  cavalry  of 
the  reserve  and  twenty  Dutch  and  Danish 
battalions,  succeeded  in  turning  the  French  right, 
which  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  commanded,  and 
drove  it  in  in  hopeless  confusion.  This  movement 
decided  the  battle,  and  night  alone  saved  the  con- 
quered army  from  annihilation.  As  matters  were, 
95  standards  and  7000  prisoners  were  taken,1  and 
the  discomfited  French  fell  back  in  disorder  on 
Ghent,  and  did  not  halt  till  they  reached  Loven- 
deghem,  between  that  town  and  Bruges. 

Before  the  retreat  began,  an  improvised  council 
of  war  was  held  by  the  French  generals,  at  which, 
says  Saint-Simon,  M.  de  Vendome,  "  furious  at 
being  so  terribly  out  of  his  reckoning,  affronted 
everybody.  When  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  wished 
to  speak,  he  silenced  him,  by  saying  to  him,  in  an 
imperious  tone,  before  every  one,  that  '  he  had  come 
to  the  army  only  on  condition  of  obeying  him.' 
These    insolent    words,   pronounced    at    the    fatal 

1  This  is  the  number  given  by  Marlborough,  but  the  French  only- 
admitted  to  have  left  4000  prisoners  in  the  enemy's  hands.  What- 
ever the  actual  number,  it  must  have  been  much  larger,  but  for  the 
courage  and  skill  with  which  the  rearguard,  under  the  Duchesse  de 
Bourgogne's  old  admirer,  Nangis,  covered  the  retreat. 

368  A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

moment  when  they  were  experiencing  the  conse- 
quences of  the  obedience  rendered  to  his  idleness 
and  obstinacy,  made  every  one  tremble  with 
indignation.  The  young  prince  to  whom  they 
were  addressed  achieved  a  more  difficult  victory 
than  that  which  his.  enemies  were  gaining  over 
him,  and  was  sufficiently  master  of  himself  to  keep 
silent."  Vendome,  he  goes  on  to  relate,  then 
proceeded  to  harangue  the  assembled  generals, 
declaring  that  the  battle  was  not  lost,  and  that  they 
could  resume  it  on  the  morrow,  but  finding  every 
one  but  his  cousin,  the  young  Comte  d'Evreux,1 
of  a  contrary  opinion,  flew  into  a  violent  passion, 
and  exclaimed,  "  Oh,  very  well,  Messieurs  !  I  see 
clearly  what  you  wish.  We  must  retire  then." 
And,  turning  towards  the  Due  de  Bourgogne,  he 
added,  in  a  tone  which  left  no  doubt  as  to  his 
meaning :  "I  know  that  you  have  long  wished 
to  do  so,  Monseigneur."  2 

This  anecdote  has  been  accepted  by  many 
historians,  both  French  and  English,  and  Michelet 
has  even  endeavoured  to  improve  upon  it.3  But 
its  authenticity  is  extremely  doubtful,  for,  though 
Saint-Hilaire,  who  was  one  of  the  officers  present 
on  the  occasion,  admits  that  Vendome  fell  into  a 
passion  on  his  advice  being  disregarded,  he  says 
nothing  of  any  insulting  words  used  by  him  to  the 
Due  de  Bourgogne,  and  even  attributes  his  obstinacy 
to  his  solicitude  for  the  honour  and  glory  of  the 
prince  ; 4  nor  do  the  letters  of  the  Due  de  Bour- 
gogne,   though    full    of    complaints   regarding   the 

1  Henri  Louis  de  la  Tour-d'Auvergne.     He  was  the  son  of  the 
Due  de  Bouillon  and  Marianne  Mancini. 

2  Saint-Simon,  Memoires.  3  Histoire  de  France. 
4  Saint-Hilaire,  Memoires, 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  369 

conduct  of  Vendome,  contain  any  allusion  to  such 
an  incident.  It  would  therefore  appear  that  Saint- 
Simon  has  been  once  more  drawing  upon  those 
imaginative  powers  which  have  led  so  many 
historians  astray. 

In  the  case  of  a  joint-command,  like  that 
exercised  by  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  and  Vendome, 
it  is  always  very  difficult  to  apportion  the  blame 
for  any  disaster.  Both  Coxe  and  Allison  in  their 
accounts  of  the  battle  are  very  severe  upon  the 
Due  de  Bourgogne,  and  the  latter  writer  accuses 
the  prince,  "  who  was  jealous  of  Vendome's  re- 
putation," of  countermanding  orders  issued  by  his 
colleague.1  But  the  most  trustworthy  of  French 
historians  and  contemporary  writers,  who  include 
several  officers  who  took  part  in  the  engagement, 
are  not  of  this  opinion,  and  though  Saint-Simon 
has  probably  exaggerated  the  faults  of  Vendome 
and  ignored  those  of  his  hero,  his  account  appears 
to  be  substantially  accurate.  The  primary  cause 
of  the  disaster  was  undoubtedly  the  time  lost 
on  the  morning  of  the  nth  in  the  passage  of  the 
Scheldt,  due  to  the  bridges  not  having  been  con- 
structed overnight  •  and  for  this  Vendome  was 
certainly  responsible.  Nevertheless,  as  we  shall 
now  see,  that  general,  aided  by  his  friends,  both 
in  the  army  and  at  home,  endeavoured  to  shift 
the  odium  of  the  defeat  on  to  the  shoulders  of  the 
Due  de  Bourgogne,  and,  at  first,  with  only  too  much 

1  "Life  of  Marlborough." 



Efforts  of  Vendome  to  cast  the  blame  for  the  loss  of  the  Battle 
of  Oudenarde  upon  the  Due  de  Bourgogne — The  prince  seeks  the 
support  of  Madame  de  Maintenon — Vendome  resolves  to  appeal 
to  the  public — Letter  of  Alberoni  :  sensation  which  it  arouses — 
Letters  of  the  poet  Campistron  and  the  Comte  d'Evreux — Violent 
outcry  against  the  Due  de  Bourgogne,  organised  by  the  cabal  of 
Meudon — Distress  of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne — Her  courageous 
defence  of  her  husband — The  serious  qualities  of  the  princess 
begin  to  reveal  themselves — She  persuades  the  King  to  exercise 
his  authority  to  restrain  the  attacks  upon  the  Due  de  Bourgogne 

THE  news  of  the  capture  of  Ghent  and  Bruges 
had  reached  Fontainebleau,  where  the 
Court  was  then  in  residence,  on  the  night 
of  July  6,  where  it  excited  a  "  frenzied  joy/' * 
among  all  save  the  personal  enemies  of  the  Due 
de  Bourgogne,  who,  however,  had  the  good  sense 
to  dissemble  their  mortification.  The  consterna- 
tion was  therefore  all  the  greater  when,  shortly 
after  mid-day  on  the  14th,  as  the  King  was  leaving 
the  Council  of  Finance,  a  courier  arrived,  bringing 
"  the  sad  news  of  a  great  engagement  in  Flanders, 
in  which  we  have  not  had  the  advantage."  2  The 
following  day  brought  a  despatch  from  Vendome, 
in  which  he  complained  bitterly  of  the  conduct 
of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne,  and  had  the  effrontery 
to  declare  that  the  battle  had  been  going  in  favour 
of  the  French,  and  that  victory  was  actually  in 

1  Saint-Simon.  2  Dangeau. 


A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  371 

sight,  when  the  prince,  notwithstanding  his  pro- 
testations, had  insisted  on  retreating.  In  a  second 
despatch,  he  attributed  the  reverse  to  the  incom- 
petent officers  who  abused  the  confidence  of  the 
Due  de  Bourgogne,  and  whose  advice  his  Royal 
Highness  preferred  to  his,  on  all  important 
occasions ;  and  he  implored  the  King  to  recall 
him  [Vendome],  in  order  to  spare  him  the  humilia- 
tion of  finding  his  counsels  disregarded  and  of 
being  the  witness  of  the  failure  of  his  Majesty's 

The  Due  de  Bourgogne,  on  his  side,  also  wrote 
to  the  King,  but  he  confined  himself  to  informing 
him  that  the  army  had  been  compelled  to  retreat 
to  Lovendeghem,  and  referred  him  for  details  to 
Vendome.  "  But,  at  the  same  time,  he  wrote 
to  the  duchess,  very  clearly  expressing  to  her 
where  the  fault  lay  "  ; ■  and  this  epistle,  it  is  fair 
to  presume,  soon  found  its  way  into  his  Majesty's 

According  to  the  Chevalier  de  Bellerive,2  Louis 
xiv,  after  receiving  Vendome's  first  despatches, 
had  actually  resolved  to  recall  his  grandson  and 
leave  the  command  of  the  army  to  Vendome, 
but  was  dissuaded  by  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne, 
who,  warned  by  Madame  de  Maintenon,  threw 
herself  at  the  King's  feet  and  implored  him  to 
spare  her  husband  such  a  dishonour.  It  seems 
doubtful  if  there  is  any  truth  in  this  story,  for 
Bellerive   was   a   particularly   ardent   supporter   of 

1  Saint-Simon. 

2  He  was  believed  by  many  to  be  a  natural  son  of  Vendome. 
He  accompanied  him  during  the  Spanish  campaign  of  17 10,  of  which 
he  subsequently  wrote  a  history. 

372  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

Vendome.1  However,  that  general  certainly  did 
everything  possible  to  induce  Louis  xiv  to  relieve 
him  of  the  duke,  declaring  that  "  the  princes 
were  a  terrible  burden  for  an  army  "  ;  that  they 
had  nearly  as  possible  been  taken  prisoners  at 
Oudenarde  ;  that  no  good  purpose  could  be  served 
by  their  remaining  with  the  troops  during  the 
remainder  of  the  campaign,  and  that  he  entreated 
his  Majesty  not  to  continue  to  charge  him  with 
the  care  of  persons  so  precious. 

The  King,  however,  contented  himself  by 
advising  his  grandson  "to  do  nothing  except 
after  mature  deliberation,"  and  by  telling  Vendome 
that,  in  order  to  avoid  further  regrettable  incidents, 
he  had  directed  the  prince  to  consult  with  him 
about  their  future  course  of  action,  and  had  re- 
commended him  to  repose  in  the  general  all  the 
confidence  which  the  zeal,  experience,  and  so 
forth  of  the  latter  merited. 

This,  so  far  from  soothing  the  mortified 
Vendome,  seems  to  have  exasperated  him  to  the 
last  degree,  and  he  replied  by  a  long  and  scathing 
criticism  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne,  or  rather — 
since  he  was  too  good  a  courtier  to  make  a  direct 
attack  upon  the  King's  grandson — of  Puysegur, 
the  prince's  favourite  counsellor,  who,  he  asserted, 
had  persuaded  his  master  to  disregard  his  in- 
structions, and,  in  particular,  to  allow  a  considerable 
part  of  the  army  to  remain  inactive  on  a  height  and 
"  look  on  at  the  battle  as  people  look  on  at  the  opera 

1  Bellerive's  Memoires,  which  are  preserved  in  the  Bibliotheque 
Nationale,  have  never  been  published,  but  lus  account  of  the  cam- 
paign of  1708  in  Flanders  has  been  reproduced  by  M.  Boislisle,  in 
his  edition  of  Saint-Simon's  Memoires,  vol.  xvi. 

A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY  373 

from  the  boxes  on  the  third  tier."  »  By  the  same 
courier,  he  wrote  to  the  Minister  for  War,  declaring 
that,  if  he  had  been  the  master  in  Flanders  as  he  had 
been  in  Italy,  all  would  have  been  well,  and  hinting 
that,  in  his  opinion,  the  personal  courage  of  the  Due 
de  Bourgogne  was  more  than  a  little  doubtful. 

The  Due  de  Bourgogne,  aware  that  Vendome 
was  endeavouring  to  throw  the  blame  upon  him, 
felt  compelled  to  defend  himself,  and  having 
decided  that  it  would  be  better  to  secure  the 
advocacy  of  Madame  de  Maintenon  than  to  appeal 
directly  to  the  King,  addressed  to  that  lady  a 
lengthy  letter,  in  which,  after  expatiating  upon 
the  faults  committed  by  Vendome,  both  before 
and  during  the  battle,  he  declared  that  the  latter 
had  lost  the  confidence  of  both  officers  and  men  ; 
that  he  did  "  scarcely  anything  but  eat  and  sleep  "  ; 
that  his  health  did  not  permit  him  to  perform  his 
duties  ;  that  he  was  always  convinced  that  the 
enemy  would  never  do  anything  which  he  did  not 
wish  him  to  do,  and  believed  himself  invincible  ; 
and  that,  in  a  word,  he  was  "  not  a  general  at  all," 
and  quite  unworthy  of  the  trust  which  his  Majesty 
reposed  in  him.  And  he  demanded  that  the 
King  should,  in  future,  invest  him  [the  Due  de 
Bourgogne]  with  full  powers.2 

If  Vendome  had  remained  satisfied  with  venting 
his  spleen  in  despatches  to  Louis  xiv  and  Chamillart, 
little  harm  would  have  been  done  ;    but,  knowing 

1  Despatch  of  July  16,  published  in  Pelet,  Histoire  militaire, 
where  the  full  text  is  given.  M.  d'Haussonville,  who  has  also  pub- 
lished a  portion  of  it,  declares  that  the  responsibility  for  this  extra- 
ordinary blunder  was  Vendome's  alone. 

2  Letter  of  July  13,  1708,  published  by  the  Marquis  de  Vogii6 
le  Due  de  Bourgogne  et  le  Due  de  Beauvilliers. 

374  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

that  he  could  reckon  on  the  support  of  a  powerful 
faction  at  Court,  he  resolved  to  appeal  to  the 
public.  During  his  campaigns  in  Italy,  he  had 
made  the  acquaintance  of  a  lowborn,  unscrupulous, 
but  exceedingly  able  adventurer,  the  Abbe  Alberoni. 
This  personage,  who,  some  ten  years  later,  was 
to  become  cardinal  and  first  Minister  of  Spain, 
and  to  set  the  country  of  his  adoption  and  France 
once  more  by  the  ears,  had  gained  Vendome's 
favour  by  his  wit,  his  servile  flattery,  and  his  skill 
in  concocting  various  Italian  dishes,  and  had 
followed  him  to  France  and  subsequently  to 
Flanders.  At  his  patron's  instigation,  Alberoni 
now  wrote  to  one  of  his  friends  in  France,  lauding 
Vendome  to  the  skies  and  declaring  that  the  dis- 
aster at  Oudenarde  was  entirely  due  to  his  plans 
having  been  thwarted  by  the  Due  de  Bourgogne, 
or  rather  by  his  pernicious  counsellors,  for  he  did 
not  venture  to  name  the  prince. 

"  I  am  a  Roman,"  the  letter  concludes  (he 
was,  as  a  matter  of  fact,  a  Placentian),  "  that  is  to 
say,  I  belong  to  a  race  that  speaks  the  truth ; 
'  in  civitate  omnium  gnat  a,  et  nihil  reticente'  says 
our  Tacitus.  Permit  me,  after  that,  to  tell  you, 
with  all  due  respect,  that  your  nation  is  quite 
capable  of  forgetting  all  the  marvels  which  the 
good  prince  [Vendome]  worked  in  my  country, 
which  will  render  his  name  immortal  and  always 
honoured ;  injuriarum  et  beneficiorum  ceque  im- 
memores.  But  the  good  prince  is  perfectly  tranquil, 
knowing  that  he  has  done  nothing  with  which  to 
reproach  himself,  and  that,  so  long  as  he  followed 
his  own  judgment,  he  was  always  successful."  * 

1  Jean    Galbert     de     Campistron     (1656-1723).      Saint-Simon 
describes  him  as  "  one  of  those  dirty,  starving  poets  who  are  ready 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  375 

This  letter  created  an  extraordinary  sensation. 
Its  recipient,  as  was  of  course  intended,  showed 
it  to  every  one  he  knew  ;  copies  were  made  of  it, 
and,  finally,  it  found  its  way  into  the  Gazette 
d'  Amsterdam,  the  principal  organ  of  the  Grand 
Alliance  on  the  Continent.  It  was  speedily  fol- 
lowed by  two  others,  the  first,  from  the  pen  of 
Vendome's  secretary,  the  poet  Campistron,  "  con- 
taining a  virulent  attack  on  the  Due  de  Bour- 
gogne's  counsellors  ;  the  second,  written  by 
Vendome's  cousin,  the  Comte  d'Evreux,  which, 
though  couched  in  more  measured  terms  than 
those  of  Alberoni  or  Campistron,  was  perhaps  even 
more  damaging  to  the  unfortunate  young  prince, 
owing  to  the  high  rank  and  military  reputation 
of  the  writer. 

The  chance  which  the  enemies  of  the  Due  and 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  had  long  sought  had  at 
length  come,  and  they  were  quick  to  seize  it. 
"  The  emissaries  of  the  cabal,"  says  Saint-Simon, 
u  paraphrased  the  letters  in  the  cafes,  in  public 
places,  among  the  newsmongers,  in  gambling-dens, 
in  private  houses.  Vaudevilles,  pieces  of  verse, 
atrocious  songs 1  about  the  heir  to  the  Crown,  which 
erected  Vendome  into  a  hero  on  the  ruins  of  his 
reputation,  circulated  all  over  Paris  and  throughout 

to  do  anything  for  a  living  "  ;    but  his  tragedies  were  considered 
of  sufficient  merit  to  secure  him  admission  to  the  Academy. 

1  These  songs,  several  of  which  were  believed  to  be  the  com- 
position of  the  malevolent  Madame  la  Duchesse,  were  generally 
set  to  popular  airs,  and  were  thus  assured  of  a  vogue.  One  was 
at  the  expense  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  and  his  confessor  ;  another 
declared  that  the  prince  had  refused  to  continue  the  battle,  from 
fear  of  sending  souls  to  hell  ;  while  a  third— the  most  cruel  of  all — 
accused  him  of  having  taken  refuge  in  a  mill  and  remained  there 
throughout  the  action. 

376  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

the  kingdom  with  a  licence  and  a  rapidity  which 
no  one  tried  to  check  ;  while  at  the  Court  and 
in  fashionable  circles  the  "  Libertines "  and  the 
dandies  applauded,  and  the  supple  politicians, 
who  know  the  ground  best,  joined  with  them,  and 
so  influenced  the  crowd,  that  in  six  days  it  was 
thought  disgraceful  to  speak  with  moderation  of 
the  son  in  his  father's  house  ;  in  eight,  it  had 
become  dangerous,  since  the  leaders  of  the  pack, 
encouraged  by  the  success  of  the  cabal  which  they 
had  so  well  organised,  began  to  reveal  themselves, 
and  to  show  that  whoever  should  dare  to  contra- 
dict them  would  sooner  or  later  have  to  deal  with 

The  friends  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne — Beau- 
villiers,  Chevreuse,  and  Saint-Simon — were  aghast ; 
to  stem  the  tide  of  public  opinion  seemed  imposs- 
ible ;  "  all  France  was  in  the  cabal."  l  The 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  was  "in  a  state  of  extreme 
affliction"  ; 2  for  she  recognised  that  her  own  happi- 
ness and  reputation  were  at  stake  as  well  as  her 
husband's.  Greatly  as  she  was  beloved  by  the 
King  and  Madame  de  Maintenon,  and  immense  as 
was  her  popularity  with  the  great  majority  of  the 
Court,  it  would  be,  nevertheless,  impossible  for 
her  to  retain  her  exceptional  position,  if  the  Duke 
remained  under  the  cloud  which  now  rested  upon 
him,  and  continued  to  be  an  object  of  derision  and 
contempt  to  half  the  nation. 

But  let  it  not  be  supposed  that  her  distress 
was   solely   on   her   own   account,  for   that   would 

Michelet,  Histoire  de  France. 
2  Letter  of  Madame  de  Maintenon  to  the   Princesse  de  Ursins, 
July  23,  1708,  in  Geffroy. 



A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  377 

be  to  do  her  a  grave  injustice.  Notwithstanding 
her  thoughtlessness  and  frivolity,  and  her  lack  of 
sympathy  with  her  husband's  views,  she  was  at 
bottom  a  loyal  wife,  and  she  was  exasperated  by 
the  calumnies  published  about  one  whom  she  knew 
to  be  a  brave  and  honourable  man,  utterly  in- 
capable of  the  conduct  ascribed  to  him. 

And  the  shameful  injustice  of  this  persecution 
not  only  roused  her  indignation,  but  drew  her 
closer  to  its  victim,  since  it  often  happens  that 
those  to  whom,  in  the  time  of  their  prosperity,  we 
are  comparatively  indifferent,  become,  when  mis- 
fortune overtakes  them,  objects  of  our  sympathy 
and  affection.  This  welcome  change  in  the 
princess's  feelings  towards  her  husband  is  indicated 
by  Madame  de  Maintenon  in  one  of  her  letters  to 
the  Princesse  des  Ursins. 

"  She  [the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne]  shows  in  these 
sad  circumstances  the  feelings  of  a  good  French- 
woman, which  I  always  knew  she  possessed,  although 
I  confess  that  I  did  not  believe  that  she  loved  the 
Due  de  Bourgogne  as  much  as  we  now  see.  Her 
affection  makes  her  very  sensitive,  and  she  feels 
keenly  the  unfortunate  result  of  the  first  action 
in  which  he  has  taken  part.  She  would  wish  him 
to  expose  himself  like  a  grenadier,  and  yet  to 
return  without  a  scratch  ;  she  feels  the  difficult 
position  in  which  the  misfortune  which  has  occurred 
has  placed  him;  she  shares  all  the  anxieties  which 
the  present  position  must  occasion  him  ;  she 
would  like  a  battle  to  take  place,  so  that  he  might 
win  it,  and  yet  she  dreads  it.  In  short,  nothing 
escapes  her,  and  she  is  worse  than  I  am.  The 
distress  in  which  she  is  gives  me,  on  the  one  hand, 
much   pleasure,    since   it   is   a   proof   of    her  good 

378  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

qualities ;  but,  on  the  other,  makes  me  very  uneasy 
about  her  health,  which  appears  much  altered 
by  it." ' 

And  in  another  letter  she  writes  : — 

"  I  assured  him  [the  Due  de  Bourgogne]  the 
other  day  that  he  would  not  understand  the  extent 
of  her  sensitiveness  on  his  account,  however  great 
may  be  his  intelligence  and  his  love  for  her." 

No  longer  had  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  to  com- 
plain, as  in  the  campaign  of  1703,  of  the  absence 
of  his  wife's  letters,  and  though,  unfortunately, 
none  of  their  correspondence  has  been  preserved, 
we  know,  from  the  prince's  letters  to  Madame  de 
Maintenon  and  Beauvilliers,  that  the  regularity 
with  which  she  wrote  delighted  as  much  as  it 
astonished  him.  "  Nothing  makes  me  better  under- 
stand," he  writes  to  the  former,  "  the  affection 
which  you  have  always  said  that  she  entertains 
for  me "  ;  while  to  Beauvilliers  he  declares  that 
"  his  belief  that  she  really  loves  him  is  confirmed." 

But  the  princess  did  far  more  than  send  her 
husband  assurances  of  her  loyalty  and  affection. 
She  constituted  herself  the  guardian  and  defender 
of  his  honour  at  the  Court,  and  became  the  avowed 
enemy  of  the  cabal  which  was  seeking  his  ruin. 
She  seems,  indeed,  to  have  been  inclined  to 
champion  his  cause  with  rather  more  zeal  than 
discretion,  since  we  find  the  duke  writing  to  Madame 
de  Maintenon  on  August  7,  from  the  camp  at 
Lovendeghem  : — 

"  It  has  come  to  M.  de  Vendome's  ears  that  the 

1  Letter  of  July  23,  1708,  Geffroy,  Madame  de  Maintenon  d'apres 
sa  correspondance  authentique. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  379 

Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  has  inveighed  against  him 
in  public,  and  he  has  appeared  to  me  extremely 
pained.  Speak  to  her  about  it,  I  beg  you,  Madame, 
in  order  that  she  may  be  on  her  guard  that  her 
affection  for  me  may  not  lead  her  to  vex  and  offend 
others  ;  for  this  affection,  though  it  affords  me 
great  joy,  would  not  please  me  in  that  case."  * 

Madame  de  Maintenon's  admonitions,  however, 
would  not  appear  to  have  had  much  effect,  for, 
ten  days  later,  he  writes  to  her  that  "  the  affection 
of  which  she  [the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne]  has 
given  him  such  signal  proofs  makes  him  appre- 
hensive that  she  has  gone  a  little  too  far  in  certain 
things  which  she  has  said." 

His  anxiety  is,  however,  all  on  his  wife's 
account,  and  not  on  his  own,  for  he  adds  : — 

"  I  have  known  before  to-day  that  there  are  per- 
sons at  the  Court  who  do  not  love  her,  and  who  see 
with  annoyance  the  affection  that  the  King  shows 
for  her.  I  believe  I  am  not  altogether  ignorant 
of  their  names.  It  will  be  for  you,  Madame,  when 
I  see  you,  to  enlighten  me  more  particularly  on 
this  matter,  that  proper  precautions  may  be  taken 
to  prevent  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  from 
falling  into  certain  very  dangerous  snares,  which 
I  have  often  perceived  that  you  dreaded.  As  for 
mischief  -  making,  it  would  be  very  unjust  to 
accuse  her  of  that  ;  she  despises  it  utterly,  and 
her  mind  is  very  far  removed  from  what  one  calls 
the  feminine  mind.  She  has  assuredly  a  solid  in- 
telligence, much  good  sense,  an  excellent  and  very 
noble  heart.  But  you  know  her  better  than  I,  and 
this  portrait  is  superfluous.     Perhaps  the  pleasure 

1  Marquis  de  Vogue,  le  Due  de  Bourgogne  et  le  Due  de  Beau- 


380  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

that  I  derive  from  speaking  of  her  prevents  me 
from  perceiving  that  I  do  it  too  often  and  at  too 
great  a  length."  * 

The  tribute  which  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  pays 
to  his  wife  in  this  letter  was  not  undeserved. 
During  the  last  two  years,  the  princess  had  altered 
very  much  from  the  frivolous,  pleasure-loving  girl 
we  have  hitherto  known,  and,  though  this  change 
had  perhaps  been  scarcely  perceptible,  save  to 
those  who  knew  her  most  intimately,  it  was  none 
the  less  real.  The  cruel  anxiety  she  had  suffered 
on  behalf  of  her  family  in  Savoy  during  the  crisis 
of  1706  ;  the  terrible  end  of  the  unfortunate  Maule- 
vrier,  for  which,  as  we  have  said,  she  could  scarcely 
fail  to  regard  herself  as  in  some  degree  responsible  ; 
the  death  of  her  little  son ;  the  suffering  and 
misery  which  the  war  was  entailing  ;  and,  finally,  the 
danger  which  menaced  her  husband's  honour  and 
her  own  position,  had  all  combined  to  bring  home 
to  her  the  fact  that  there  is  another  side  to  life  than 
that  which  is  represented  by  balls  and  f6tes  and 
toilettes  and  jewels  and  the  struggles  of  contend- 
ing vanity,  and  had  strengthened  and  developed 
those  serious  qualities  which  had,  until  then,  lain 
dormant  within  her.  "  Ma  tante"  said  she  to 
Madame  de  Maintenon,  "  I  am  under  infinite 
obligations  to  you  ;  you  have  had  the  patience 
to  wait  for  my  reason."  Reason  had,  indeed, 
asserted  itself  at  last,  and  it  was  well  for  her  husband's 
interests  that  its  triumph  was  no  longer  delayed. 

The  odds  against  the  princess   in  her  struggle 

1  Letter  of  August  17,  1708,  published  by  the  Contessa  della 
Rocca,  Correspondance  inedite  de  la  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  et  de  la 
Heine  d'Espagne. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  381 

with  her  husband's  calumniators  were  heavy,  for, 
though  she  had  loyal  friends,  none  of  them  were 
persons  whose  opinion  carried  much  weight  in  military 
matters,  and  it  was  difficult  to  convince  Louis  xiv 
that  a  general  in  whom  he  reposed  so  much  con- 
fidence, who  had  hitherto  proved  himself  almost 
invincible,  and  whose  cause  was  espoused  by 
nearly  the  whole  Court,  could  possibly  be  in  the 
wrong.  She  had,  however,  one  invaluable  ally 
in  the  person  of  Madame  de  Maintenon  ;  and, 
emboldened  by  that  lady's  support,  she  did  not 
hesitate  to  importune  the  King  to  use  his  authority 
to  put  a  stop  to  the  reports  which  were  in  circu- 
lation, and  even  ventured  to  complain  of  Chamillart, 
who  had  allowed  himself  to  be  carried  away  by 
the  current,  and  had  written  a  letter  to  the  Due 
de  Bourgogne,  begging  him  to  compose  his  differ- 
ences with  Vendome. 

His  Majesty  was  not  best  pleased  to  see  the 
princess,  whose  first  care  had  always  been  to  charm 
away  his  ennui  by  her  gaiety  and  high  spirits, 
appear  before  him  with  tears  in  her  eyes  and  com- 
plaints on  her  lips,  and  one  day,  according  to 
Saint-Simon,  rebuked  her  in  public  for  her  "  ill- 
temper  and  bitterness."  But  her  efforts  were 
not  wasted,  for  the  King,  who  had  hitherto  known 
nothing  of  the  letters  which  had  created  so  much 
sensation,  reprimanded  Chamillart  for  not  having 
brought  them  to  his  notice,  and  ordered  him  to 
write  in  very  strong  terms  to  Alberoni  and  the 
Comte  d'Evreux,  ordering  them  to  keep  silence  for 
the  future.  Soon  afterwards,  the  Comte  d'Evreux, 
at  the  instigation  of  his  mother,  the  Duchesse  de 
Bouillon,  who  was  fearful  lest  he  should  compromise 

382  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

himself  and  his  family  with  the  King,  wrote  another 
letter  in  direct  contradiction  to  the  first,  which  his 
parents  went  about  declaring  was  an  impudent 
forgery  ;  and,  though  this  very  transparent  fiction 
does  not  appear  to  have  deceived  any  one,  it  brought 
some  consolation  to  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne. 

But,  if  the  princess  had  succeeded  in  stemming 
for  a  time  the  tide  of  calumny,  she  had  not  as  yet 
succeeded  in  doing  anything  to  repair  the  mischief 
it  had  already  wrought.  She  felt,  indeed,  that  for 
the  rehabilitation  of  her  husband  she  must  wait 
until  the  winter  brought  the  officers  of  the  Army 
of  Flanders  back  to  Court,  and  the  truth  became 
known,  and  hope  that,  in  the  meanwhile,  some 
striking  success  might  redeem  the  disaster  of 
Oudenarde,  and  dispose  public  opinion  more 
favourably  towards  the  prince. 


Position  of  the  rival  armies  in  Flanders  after  Oudenarde — 
Failure  of  Vendome  and  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  to  appreciate  the 
danger  of  the  situation — The  Allies  resolve  to  lay  siege  to  Lille 

—  The  French  make  no  effort   to  intercept   the  siege-train  on  its 
passage  from  Brussels  to  Lille — Extraordinary  inertia  of  Vendome 

—  The  army  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  effects  its  junction  with 
that  of  Berwick — Character  of  Berwick — Antagonism  between 
him  and  Vendome — The  united  French  armies  march  to  the  succour 
of  Lille,  but  find  their  advance  opposed  by  Marlborough — Dis- 
sension between  the  French  generals  :  appeal  to  Louis  xiv — 
Painful  suspense  at  Versailles — Agitation  of  the  Duchesse  de 
Bourgogne — The  French  fall  back  to  Tournai — Renewed  outcry 
against  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  in  France  :  apparent  triumph  of 
the  cabal — Madame  de  Maintenon  espouses  the  prince's  cause — 
Affair  of  Wynendale — Capitulation  of  Lille — The  Due  de  Bourgogne 
sets  out  for  Versailles — Marlborough  recovers  Ghent  and  Bruges 

IT  will  be  remembered  that,  after  the  Battle 
of  Oudenarde,  the  French  had  retreated 
to  Lovendeghem,  between  Ghent  and  Bruges. 
A  few  days  later,  Eugene's  army  arrived  at 
Brussels,  but,  as  almost  at  the  same  time  Berwick's 
corps,  which  had  been  watching  it  and  marching 
parallel  with  it,  reached  Tournai,  no  real  difference 
was  made  in  the  relative  strength  of  the  rival 
forces.  The  four  armies  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne, 
Marlborough,  Eugene,  and  Berwick  occupied,  so 
to  speak,  the  four  corners  of  a  chessboard,  and 
whichever  general  first  succeeded  in  effecting  a 
junction  with  his  colleague  would  obviously  possess 

a  great  advantage. 


384  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

Although  France  now  lay  open  to  invasion, 
and  it  was  of  the  last  importance  to  the  French 
to  prevent  the  Allied  generals  from  uniting  their 
forces,  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  and  Vendome  entirely 
failed  to  grasp  the  danger  of  the  situation.  Ven- 
dome, indeed,  refused  to  believe  that  the  Allies 
would  venture  to  cross  the  frontier,  leaving  so 
formidable  a  hostile  force  in  their  rear  ;  and  he 
accordingly  proceeded  to  entrench  himself  in  an 
exceedingly  strong  position  behind  the  canal  which 
runs  from  Ghent  to  Bruges,  in  the  confident  antici- 
pation that  Marlborough's  first  movement  would 
be  an  attempt  to  recover  these  two  towns. 
Berwick  was  ordered  to  remain  at  Tournai,  to 
watch  Marlborough  and  repel  any  incursions  which 
the  Anglo-Dutch  army  might  be  disposed  to  make 
into  the  Cambresis  or  Artois. 

Marlborough's  intentions,  however,  were  very 
different  from  those  with  which  he  was  credited. 
On  the  very  morrow  of  Oudenarde,  he  boldly 
proposed  to  cross  the  frontier  between  Lille  and 
Tournai  and  advance  straight  upon  Paris.  But 
this  plan — which  was  precisely  that  which  Welling- 
ton and  Blucher  executed  with  such  signal  success 
a  century  later — was  considered  too  hazardous 
by  Eugene  and  the  Dutch  ;  and  it  was  therefore 
resolved  to  begin  the  invasion  of  France  by  the 
siege  of  Lille,  the  strongest  and  most  important  of 
the  places  in  French  Flanders  and  the  bulwark 
of  the  capital. 

This  was  in  itself  a  sufficiently  formidable 
undertaking,  since  the  fortifications  of  Lille  were 
regarded  as  one  of  Vauban's  masterpieces,  and  it 
was  garrisoned  by  some   15,000  men.     Moreover, 

A   ROSE   OF  SAVOY  385 

the  interruption  of  the  water-communications 
of  the  Allies,  through  the  capture  of  Ghent  and 
Bruges,  necessitated  the  transport  of  everything 
that  was  required  for  the  siege  by  land-carriage 
from  Holland  ;  and  Brussels,  the  nearest  depot  for 
ordinary  and  military  stores,  was  nearly  thirty-five 
leagues  distant.  Such,  however,  was  the  fatuous 
optimism  of  Vendome  that,  in  spite  of  repeated 
warnings  from  Berwick,  he  scouted  the  idea  that  it 
was  the  intention  of  the  enemy  to  lay  siege  to  Lille, 
and  remained  inactive  in  his  camp  at  Lovendeghem  ; 
and  on  August  12,  Eugene,  who  had  returned  to 
Brussels  after  Oudenarde,  appeared  before  Lille, 
with  a  siege-train  which  comprised  eighty  heavy 
cannon,  twenty  mortars,  and  three  thousand  am- 
munition-waggons. From  Brussels  to  the  Scheldt, 
where  Marlborough  with  a  detachment  of  his  army 
was  awaiting  him — that  is  to  say,  for  fully  half  the 
journey — this  immense  convoy,  which  required 
16,000  horses  to  transport  it,  and  stretched,  when 
in  a  line  of  march,  over  fifteen  miles,  was  only 
protected  by  fifty-three  battalions  and  ninety 
squadrons,1  and  had  lain  exposed  to  the  attack 
of  an  infinitely  superior  force  ;  and  yet  not  the 
least  attempt  had  been  made  to  molest  it. 

The  blame  for  this  shameful  inaction  must 
rest  mainly  with  Vendome,  who,  in  a  despatch 
to  the  King,  written  on  the  day  after  the  convoy 
had  left  Brussels,  had  ridiculed  the  fears  enter- 
tained at  Versailles,  declaring  that  the  roads 
were  "  absolutely  impracticable  on  account  of 
rain,"  and  that  it  was  out  of  the  question  to  trans- 
port siege-guns  and  heavy  waggons  along  them.     It 

1  These  figures  are  taken  from  Allison,  "  Life  of  Marlborough." 

386  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

is  true  that  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  shared  to  a  great 
extent  his  colleague's  optimism,  although  he  did 
go  so  far  as  to  send,  on  his  own  initiative,  a  detach- 
ment to  watch  the  movements  of  the  convoy,  and, 
if  necessary,  to  attack  it,  which,  however,  it  was 
far  too  weak  to  attempt.  But  it  would  be  mani- 
festly unfair  to  blame  a  young  and  comparatively 
inexperienced  commander,  who  had  just  been  so 
unsparingly  denounced  for  having  refused  to  defer 
to  the  counsels  of  a  veteran  officer,  because  he 
failed  to  take  measures  which  the  latter  declared 
to  be  altogether  unnecessary. 

It  might  be  supposed  that  the  news  of  the 
arrival  of  the  siege-train  at  Lille  would  have  spurred 
Vendome  to  some  great  effort  to  atone  for  his 
blunder,  or,  at  least,  have  aroused  him  to  some 
extent  from  his  lethargy.  Nevertheless,  in  spite 
of  the  most  urgent  despatches  from  the  King, 
who  impressed  upon  him  that  his  sole  object  must 
now  be  to  preserve  Lille,  and  the  representations 
of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne,1  it  was  not  until  August 
27 — ten  days  after  the  investment  of  the  fortress 
had  been  completed  and  the  trenches  opened — 
that  he  would  consent  to  begin  his  march  to  its 
succour.  Three  days  later,  the  Army  of  Flanders 
effected  its  junction  with  that  of  Berwick,  in 
the  plain  between  Grammont  and  Lessines,  the 
united  strength  of  the  two  armies  amounting  to 
nearly  110,000  men,  exclusive  of  a  corps  of  20,000 
which  had  been  detached,  under  the  Comte  de  la 
Mothe,  to  cover  Ghent  and  Bruges. 

1  The  despatches  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  to  Louis  xiv  prove 
that  he,  at  any  rate,  appreciated  the  necessity  of  immediate 


A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY  387 

The  appearance  of  Berwick  upon  the  scene 
introduced  a  new  and,  as  it  proved,  a  most  un- 
fortunate factor  into  the  situation.  This  natural 
son  of  James  11  was  a  brave  and  high-principled 
man,  and  a  most  capable  general,  as  he  had  shown 
by  his  brilliant  victory  at  Almanza  in  the  spring 
of  the  previous  year.  But  he  was  cold,  reserved, 
sarcastic,1  and  excessively  haughty,  while  his 
military  talents  were  infinitely  more  suited  to 
defensive  operations  than  to  the  kind  of  under- 
taking in  which  he  now  found  himself  engaged. 
He  bitterly  resented  being  placed  under  the  orders 
of  Vendome,  whom  he  disliked  and  despised ; 
for,  though  the  latter  was  only  a  lieutenant-general, 
while  Berwick  was  a  marshal,  all  the  marshals 
were  obliged  to  take  orders  from  him,  in  virtue 
of  his  rank  as  a  legitimated  prince  ;  and  this 
resentment,  joined  to  his  predilection  for  cautious 
methods  of  warfare,  was  to  bring  him  into  con- 
tinual conflict  with  Vendome,  and  to  increase 
the  timidity  and  irresolution  of  the  Due  de  Bour- 
gogne,  who  since  Oudenarde  appears  to  have  lost 
all  confidence  in  his  own  judgment. 

The  antagonism  between  the  two  generals 
manifested  itself  almost  immediately  they  met,  in 
a  lively  dispute  as  to  the  line  of  march  the  army 
was  to  follow.  According  to  Berwick,  the  route 
suggested  by  Vendome  was  chosen,  but,  after  the 
troops  had  proceeded  some  little  distance,  it  was 
found  to  be  impracticable,  and  the  Due  de  Bour- 
gogne  gave  orders  for  them  to  retrace  their  steps, 

1  At  the  funeral  oration  of  James  11,  the  preacher  declared  that 
this  pious  king  had  never  committed  a  mortal  sin.  "  And  what  of 
me  ?     I  am  then  a  venial  sin !  "  Berwick  was  heard  to  mutter. 

388  A  ROSE   OF  SAVOY 

to  the  indignation  of  Vendome,  "  who  laid  the 
blame  upon  me  and  made  use  of  very  strong  ex- 
pressions, to  which,  out  of  respect  for  the  Due 
de  Bourgogne,  I  made  no  reply."  * 

Meanwhile,  Eugene  was  pressing  the  invest- 
ment of  Lille  with  all  the  vigour  that  the  im- 
perfect resources  at  his  disposal  would  permit, 
while  Marlborough  commanded  the  covering  army. 
Although  the  force  under  his  orders  was  greatly 
inferior  to  that  of  the  recently-united  French 
armies,  he  had  no  uneasiness  as  to  the  result  of  an 
engagement.  "  If  God  continues  on  our  side," 
wrote  he  to  Godolphin,  "  we  have  nothing  to 
fear,  our  troops  being  good,  though  not  so 
numerous  as  theirs.  I  dare  say  that,  before  half 
the  troops  have  fought,  success  will  declare,  I  trust 
in  God,  on  our  side."  2 

No  sooner  did  he  receive  intelligence  that  the 
Due  de  Bourgogne  and  Vendome  had  effected 
their  junction,  than  he  appears  to  have  divined 
the  point  at  which  they  would  endeavour  to  break 
through  the  lines  of  the  besiegers  ;  and  when,  on 
September  4,  the  French  reached  Mons-en-Puelle, 
on  the  little  river  Marck,  they  found  their  redoubt- 
able antagonist  awaiting  them  in  an  exceedingly 
strong  position,  with  his  right  and  left  covered  by 

Vendome,  who,  when  actually  in  the  presence 
of  the  enemy,  was  always  eager  for  battle,  strongly 
urged  an  immediate  attack  ;  but  Berwick  was  of 
the  contrary  opinion,  and  declared  that  Marl- 
borough was  so  strongly  posted  that  to  advance 

1  Berwick,  Memoires. 

2  Despatch  of  August  30,  1708,  in  Allison. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  389 

against  him  would  be  to  risk,  not  merely  a  repulse, 
but  a  crushing  defeat.  Both  appealed  to  the  Due 
de  Bourgogne,  and,  if  he  had  decided  in  Vendome's 
favour,  the  attack  would  have  begun  forthwith. 
But  the  prince,  who  found  himself  very  much  in 
the  position  of  a  young  medical  practitioner  called 
in  to  arbitrate  between  two  eminent  specialists  on 
a  matter  of  life  and  death,  declined  to  take  upon 
himself  so  grave  a  responsibility,  and  referred  the 
matter  to  the  King. 

A  courier  was  accordingly  despatched  to  Ver- 
sailles, bearing  long  memoirs  from  both  Berwick 
and  Vendome,  setting  forth  their  respective  views, 
and  another  from  the  Due  de  Bourgogne,  in  which 
he  carefully  avoided  expressing  any  definite 
opinion,  and  requested  the  orders  of  his  Majesty. 

For  some  days  past,  the  Court  had  been  in  a 
state  of  painful  suspense.  A  courier  had  arrived 
on  August  27,  with  intelligence  that  the  two  French 
armies  had  effected  their  junction,  and  were 
marching  to  the  succour  of  Lille  ;  but  since  then 
no  news  had  been  received.  "  It  was  generally 
believed,"  says  Saint-Simon,  "  that  some  decisive 
battle  had  been  fought.  Every  day  increased 
the  uneasiness.  The  princes  and  the  chief 
nobles  of  the  Court  were  with  the  army.  Every 
one  at  Versailles  feared  for  the  safety  of  a 
relative  or  friend.  Prayers  were  offered  every- 
where. Gaming,  conversation,  ceased.  Fear  was 
depicted  upon  every  countenance.  If  a  horse 
passed  a  little  quickly,  everybody  ran  without 
knowing  where.  Chamillart's  apartments  were 
crowded  with  lackeys,  since  every  one  wished  to 
be  informed  the  moment  that  a  courier  arrived. 

390  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

The  King  wrote  to  the  bishops  to  request  that  they 
should  offer  up  public  prayers  suitable  to  the 
danger  of  the  time.  It  may  be  judged  what  was 
the  general  impression  and  alarm." 

The  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  was  in  a  state  of 
terrible  agitation,  since  she  felt  that  both  the 
honour  and  the  life  of  her  husband  were  at  stake. 
"  She  passed  whole  nights  in  the  chapel,"  says 
Saint-Simon,  "  when  people  believed  her  in  bed, 
and  drove  her  women  to  despair.  The  ladies  who 
had  husbands  with  the  army  followed  her  example, 
and  did  not  stir  from  the  churches."  And  Madame 
de  Maintenon  writes  to  the  Princesse  des  Ursins  : — 

"  She  [the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne]  can  speak 
of  nothing  save  that  which  occupies  all  her  thoughts. 
She  strives  to  amuse  herself,  but  without  success  ; 
her  heart  palpitates  at  the  arrival  of  every  courier  ; 
she  fears  for  her  husband's  life  ;  she  fears  for  his 
reputation  ;  she  would  like  him  to  expose  himself 
like  a  grenadier  ;  she  cannot  endure  him  to  receive 
the  least  blame,  and  would  be  greatly  distressed  if 
he  did  the  least  thing  that  the  King  disapproved. 
In  a  word,  Madame,  she  is  at  present  one  of  the 
most  unhappy  persons  in  the  world,  and  it  is  I  who 
preach  to  her  tranquillity  and  confidence."  l 

On  September  7,  the  general  suspense  was 
relieved,  to  some  degree,  by  the  arrival  of  the 
courier  from  Mons-en-Puelle.  The  despatches  he 
brought  caused  Louis  xiv  no  little  irritation,  and 
he  immediately  wrote  both  to  the  Due  de  Bour- 
gogne and  to  Vendome,  bidding  them  take  the 
offensive  ;  while,  two  days  later,  he  despatched 
Chamillart  to  the  army,  not,  as  several  historians 

1  Lettres  de  Madame  de  Maintenon  et  de  la  Princesse  des  Ursins. 

A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY  391 

have  asserted,  to  decide  whether  it  was  advisable 
to  deliver  battle,  but  to  report  upon  the  condition 
of  the  troops  and  endeavour  to  reconcile  Vendome 
and  Berwick.  But,  when  the  King's  orders  reached 
Mons-en-Puelle,  the  moment  when  it  might  have 
been  possible  to  execute  them  with  any  prospect 
of  success  had  passed  ;  for,  taking  advantage  of 
the  enemy's  hesitation,  the  Allies  had  succeeded  in 
rendering  their  already  strong  position  so  impreg- 
nable, that  even  Vendome  did  not  venture  to 
counsel  an  attack.  Accordingly,  after  a  consulta- 
tion between  the  three  generals  and  Chamillart,  a 
courier  was  despatched  to  explain  the  altered 
situation  to  the  King,  and  it  was  decided  to 
abandon  all  hope  of  relieving  Lille  by  a  direct 
attack  upon  the  investing  army,  and  to  confine 
their  operations  to  opposing  the  passage  of  the 
convoys  coming  from  Brussels,  Oudenarde,  and 
Antwerp  with  supplies  and  ammunition  for  the 
besiegers.  With  this  object,  on  the  15th,  the 
French  fell  back  behind  the  Scheldt,  and  encamped 
in  the  neighbourhood  of  Tournai. 

The  question  whether  the  French  ought  or 
ought  not  to  have  attacked  Marlborough  on  first 
arriving  at  Mons-la-Puelle  —  later,  as  we  have 
explained,  the  undertaking  was  entirely  out  of  the 
question — is  very  difficult  to  decide.  That  Ber- 
wick's apprehensions  were  well  founded  is  proved 
by  a  despatch  of  Marlborough,  written  on  Septem- 
ber 3,  in  which  he  declares  that  "  the  ground  is  so 
much  to  our  advantage,  that,  with  the  help  of  God, 
we  shall  certainly  beat  them  [the  French.]1  But, 
on  the  other  hand,  it  should  be  remembered  that 

1  Coxc,  '-Memoirs  of  Marlborough." 

392  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

there  are  occasions  on  which  a  commander  is  jus- 
tified in  taking  exceptional  risks,  and  the  orders 
subsequently  sent  by  Louis  xiv  show  that  he 
considered  this  to  be  one  of  them. 

However  that  may  be,  the  news  of  the  retreat 
of  the  army  without  giving  battle  was  followed 
by  a  renewed  outcry  against  the  Due  de  Bour- 
gogne  in  France.  The  hapless  young  prince  was 
made  responsible  for  everything.  It  was  he,  the 
cabal  and  its  emissaries  declared,  who  had  per- 
mitted the  convoy  from  Brussels  to  pass  un- 
molested ;  who  had  been  unwilling  to  march 
against  the  enemy  ;  who  had  shrunk  from  the 
prospect  of  a  battle  which  would  have  crushed 
the  Allies  and  delivered  Lille,  and  preferred  a 
disgraceful  retreat.  Paris  was  once  more  flooded 
with  pamphlets  and  rhymes,  some  ridiculing  a 
devotion  "  which  preferred  to  lose  a  town  than 
see  soldiers  die  unconfessed,"  others  freely  ques- 
tioning the  personal  courage  of  the  duke  ;  Mon- 
seigneur  "  readily  swallowed  all  that  was  said 
in  his  son's  dispraise,"  *  and  spoke  of  him  with 
ill-concealed  disgust  ;  and  even  the  King  per- 
mitted some  impatient  words  to  escape  him  in 
private,  which  were  embellished  by  the  servants 
who  overheard  them,  and  reported  far  and  wide. 
"  As  for  our  little  prince,"  wrote  Fenelon,  "  his 
reputation  has  been  damaged  incalculably  ;  not  a 
soul  has  a  word  in  his  favour." 

But,  if  the  voices  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne's 
friends  were  lost  in  the  general  chorus  of  censure, 
or  rather  if  they  deemed  it  prudent  to  remain 
silent  until  the  storm  had  spent  its  violence,  he 

1  Saint-Simon,  MSmoircs. 

A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY  393 

did  not  lack  for  supporters  ;  and  in  his  wife  and 
Madame  de  Maintenon  he  possessed  two  who 
were  worth  a  host  in  themselves.  Saint-Simon 
attributes  Madame  de  Maintenon's  espousal  of 
the  prince's  cause  to  the  fact  that  she  was 
"  wounded  to  the  quick  at  finding,  for  the  first 
time  in  her  life,  that  there  were  people  who  had 
more  influence  over  the  King  than  she  had  "  ;  but 
it  would  seem  more  just  to  ascribe  it  to  her 
affection  for  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne,  and 
to  that  keen  sense  of  justice  which  her  letters 
prove  her  to  have  possessed,  outside  affairs  of 
religion.  "What,"  wrote  she,  "to  the  Princesse 
des  Ursins,  "  was  our  prince,  who  has  not  yet 
had  much  experience,  and  finds  himself  in  the 
most  difficult  position  conceivable,  to  do,  except 
trust  a  man  who  enjoys  the  confidence  of  the 
King  [Berwick].  How  could  he  decide  or  dis- 
cover by  himself  that  the  counsels  which  were 
being  given  him  were  too  timid,  and  that  he 
ought  to  abandon  himself  to  the  guidance  of  M. 
de  Vendome,  against  whom  three-quarters  of  the 
army  are  inveighing  ?  " 

It  must  be  admitted,  however,  that  the  events 
which  followed  the  retreat  of  the  Army  of  Flanders 
from  Mons-en-Puelle,  and  the  part  played  therein 
by  the  Due  de  Bourgogne,  were  scarcely  of  a  nature 
to  afford  much  encouragement  to  those  who  desired 
to  see  his  reputation  vindicated.  The  French, 
as  we  have  said,  had  established  themselves  in  the 
neighbourhood  of  Tournai,  in  a  position  which  they 
believed  would  enable  them  to  cut  off  the  be- 
siegers of  Lille  from  all  communication  with  their 
magazines   in    Flanders.     In   this    they   were   sue- 

394  A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

cessful,  so  far  as  those  in  the  interior  of  the  country 
were  concerned ;  and  the  only  resource  left  to  the 
allies  was  to  draw  their  supplies  from  England, 
by  way  of  Ostend,  their  communications  with 
which  still  remained  open.  In  the  last  days  of 
September,  intelligence  was  received  that  a  convoy 
of  seven  hundred  waggons  was  about  to  leave  that 
town,  escorted  by  some  five  thousand  men,  and  La 
Mothe  was  ordered  to  march  from  his  camp  of 
observation  near  Ghent  and  intercept  it.  The 
Due  de  Bourgogne  sent  reinforcements  to  the 
assistance  of  La  Mothe,  who,  however,  without 
waiting  for  their  arrival,  attacked  the  convoy  in 
the  defile  of  Wynendale,  and  was  repulsed  with 
heavy  loss.  On  September  30,  the  convoy  reached 
the  camp  of  the  besiegers  without  losing  a  single 
waggon,  and  its  arrival  practically  sealed  the  fate 
of  Lille. 

After  the  affair  of  Wynendale,  indeed,  the  Due 
de  Bourgogne  seems  to  have  abandoned  all  hope 
of  saving  the  town,  and  actually  wrote  to  the  King 
to  ask  his  consent  to  certain  measures  which  he 
proposed  to  take  "  in  anticipation  of  this  loss." 
Vendome,  more  optimistic,  having  obtained 
Louis  xiv's  permission  to  take  command  of  La 
Mothe' s  corps,  opened  the  sluices  of  the  canal  of 
Nieuport  and  laid  the  country  round  Ostend  under 
water,  in  order  to  intercept  the  enemy's  com- 
munications with  that  port.  But  Marlborough 
defeated  this  device,  by  causing  a  fleet  of  flat- 
bottomed  boats  to  be  built,  which  carried  the 
waggons  containing  the  stores  to  Lefiinghen, 
beyond  which  the  inundation  did  not  extend.1 

1  Allison,  "  Life  of  Marlborough." 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  395 

Finally,  towards  the  end  of  October,  at  the 
moment  when  Vendome  and  the  Due  de  Bour- 
gogne, spurred  on  by  urgent  despatches  from  the 
King,  had  at  last  decided  on  a  forward  movement, 
news  arrived  that  Lille  had  capitulated,  "  to  the 
great  astonishment  of  all  Europe,  which  believed 
the  Due  de  Bourgogne  in  a  condition  to  be- 
siege Eugene  and  Marlborough,  rather  than  those 
generals  in  a  condition  to  besiege  Lille."  x  No 
reflection,  however,  rested  on  its  gallant  defenders, 
who  had  sustained  a  siege  of  sixty  days,  of 
which  thirty  were  with  open  trenches,  and  repelled 
six  assaults  ;  and,  after  the  surrender  of  the 
town,  Boufflers  and  the  remnant  of  the  garrison 
retired  into  the  citadel,  where  they  continued 
their  defence,  subsisting  meanwhile  entirely  on 

Divided  counsels  continued  to  paralyse  the 
Army  of  Flanders,  and  nothing  was  done  during 
the  rest  of  the  autumn  to  repair  the  blunders 
which  had  cost  France  so  dear.  A  feeble  attempt 
was  made,  in  conjunction  with  the  Elector  of 
Bavaria,  to  divert  the  attention  of  the  allies  by 
investing  Brussels.  But  Marlborough,  marching 
rapidly  northwards,  forced  the  passage  of  the 
Scheldt,  which  the  French  vainly  endeavoured  to 
dispute  ;  the  Elector  hastened  to  raise  the  siege 
of  Brussels,  leaving  all  his  artillery  and  wounded 
behind  ;  and  on  December  8  the  citadel  of  Lille, 
despairing  of  succour,  capitulated. 

The  same  day,  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  set  out 
for  Versailles,  in  obedience  to  orders  he  had  re- 
ceived from  the  King  ;    while,  shortly  afterwards, 

1  Voltaire,  Steele  de  Louis  xiv. 



the  Army  of  Flanders  was  sent  into  winter  quarters, 
under  the  impression  that  the  campaign  was  con- 
cluded— an  illusion  which  was  rudely  dispelled 
by  Marlborough  marching  upon  Ghent  and  Bruges, 
and  recovering  both  these  places. 


Question  of  the  responsibility  for  the  disasters  in  Flanders 
considered — The  Due  de  Bourgogne  far  from  being  altogether 
blameless — His  conduct  and  manner  of  life  while  with  the  army- 
condemned  by  his  friends — His  return  to  Versailles  and  reception 
by  Louis  xiv — He  is  partially  reconciled  to  Monseigneur — Arrival 
and  reception  of  Vendome — The  King  suspends  judgment — 
Vendome  retires  to  Anet — Outcry  against  the  Due  and  Duchesse 
de  Bourgogne  in  Paris — Vendome  is  affronted  by  the  Duchesse 
de  Bourgogne  at  Marly — The  princess  persuades  the  King  to 
exclude  Vendome  from  Marly,  and  to  forbid  Monseigneur  to  invite 
him  to  Meudon — Effects  of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne's  victory — 
Final  discomfiture  of  Vendome — He  rehabilitates  his  military 
reputation  by  his  brilliant  campaign  of  1710  in  Spain — His  death 

THE  loss  of  Ghent  and  Bruges  was  a  fitting 
termination  to  a  campaign  which  must  rank 
as  one  of  the  most  inglorious  in  French 
military  annals.  Yet  the  responsibility  for  the 
glaring  errors  which  had  marked  it  from  the  very 
beginning  cannot  be  laid  upon  the  Due  de  Bour- 
gogne. Nor  ought  Vendome  to  be  held  wholly 
accountable,  for,  though  nothing  can  excuse  the 
extraordinary  inertia  he  displayed  at  Braine- 
l'Alleud  and  Lovendeghem  and  on  the  eve  of 
Oudenarde,  it  is  difficult  to  believe  that  he  would 
have  acted  thus,  if  he  had  not  been  aware  that 
another  shared  his  responsibility,  while  on  more 
than  one  occasion,  when  his  advice  was  undoubtedly 
sound,  he  was  thwarted  by  the  prince's  counsellors. 

The   chief  culprit   was   Louis   xiv,   who,   often   as 


393  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

he  had  blundered  in  his  choice  of  generals,  never 
committed  a  more  fatal  error  than  when  he 
associated  his  grandson  with  Vendome,  with  in- 
structions which  were  so  contradictory  that  neither 
was  prepared  to  accept  the  supreme  responsibility. 
And  this  mistake  he  subsequently  aggravated  by 
attaching  Berwick  to  the  prince's  staff.  "  M.  de 
Vendome  and  M.  de  Berwick  are  two  great  men," 
wrote  one  of  the  officers  of  the  Army  of  Flanders 
to  Chamillart,  "  but  they  will  never  be  seen  sleeping 
with  their  heads  in  the  same  nightcap.  When 
one  said  a  thing  was  white,  the  other  said  it  was 
black  ;  and  this  did  not  fail  to  cause  frequently 
considerable  perplexity  to  the  Due  de  Bourgogne." 

But  let  it  not  be  supposed  that  the  Due  de 
Bourgogne  ought,  therefore,  to  be  exonerated  from 
all  blame.  His  conduct,  indeed,  lent  but  too  much 
colour  to  the  accusations  which  were  levelled 
against  him,  and  was  severely  judged,  even  by 
his  most  devoted  friends,  as  the  letters  of  Fenelon1 
and  the  Memoires  of  Saint-Simon  prove.  His  dis- 
inclination to  fight  except  with  the  certainty  of 
victory  ;  his  utter  inability  to  come  to  a  decision, 
which  resulted  in  the  loss  of  so  much  valuable 
time  in  appeals  to  Versailles  ;  his  neglect  to  make 
himself  acquainted  with  the  movements  of  the 
enemy  ;  his  preference  for  the  advice  of  his  favourites 
over  that  of  far  more  distinguished  officers — all  this 
undoubtedly  contributed  to  the  disasters  we  have 
just  recounted. 

Nor  was  the  life  which  he  led  such  as  to  win 

1  The  letters  of  Fenelon  to  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  during  the 
campaign  of  1708  will  be  found  in  his  CEuvres  computes  (vol.  vii. 
edit.  1851). 

A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY  399 

the  goodwill  or  respect  of  those  under  his  command, 
particularly  during  the  latter  stages  of  the  cam- 
paign, when  he  appears  to  have  become  quite  dis- 
heartened, and  disgusted  with  the  position  he 
occupied.  He  seldom  mounted  his  horse,  not 
wishing  to  show  himself  to  the  soldiers,  who  were 
naturally  inclined  to  regard  the  inexperienced 
prince,  rather  than  the  hitherto  victorious  Vendome, 
as  the  author  of  their  reverses,  and  even  murmured 
uncomplimentary  remarks  about  him  as  he  rode 
by.  He  associated  but  little  with  the  general 
officers,  fearing  that  they  might  perceive  the  per- 
plexities by  which  he  was  continually  harassed, 
and  seems  to  have  taken  no  trouble  to  make  himself 
acquainted  even  with  the  names  of  those  of  inferior 
rank.  The  greater  part  of  his  days  was  passed 
in  writing  despatches  to  the  King  and  the  Minister 
for  War,  or  long  letters  to  his  wife  and  his  friends 
at  Versailles,  and  in  devotional  exercises  and  con- 
versations with  his  confessor. 

On  active  service,  even  the  most  devout  were 
accustomed  to  abate  something  of  their  austerity, 
but  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  scrupled  to  relax  one 
jot  of  the  narrow  religious  code  which  he  considered 
essential  to  his  salvation.  The  outspoken  Gamaches 
did  not  hesitate  to  express  his  opinion  of  his  master's 
conduct.  "  Returning  from  Mass  with  the  duke 
on  a  critical  day,"  says  Saint-Simon,  "  when  he 
would  rather  have  seen  him  on  horseback,  he  said 
aloud  :  '  You  will  certainly  win  the  Kingdom  of 
Heaven,  but,  as  for  the  kingdom  of  this  world, 
Eugene  and  Marlborough  know  how  to  seek  it 
better  than  you.' " 

When  in  September  the  army  was  in  camp  at 

4oo  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

Saulsoy,  the  nuns  of  a  neighbouring  convent  in- 
vited him  to  take  up  his  quarters  in  their  guest- 
house. The  prince  accepted  the  invitation,  but, 
scarcely  had  he  done  so,  when  he  was  seized  with 
the  fear  that,  in  residing  under  the  same  roof  as 
the  brides  of  Heaven,  he  was  committing  a  sin, 
and  wrote  to  ask  Fenelon's  advice,  declaring  that, 
if  the  archbishop  considered  it  wrong  for  him  to 
remain  there,  he  would  immediately  change  his 
quarters.  Fenelon  seems  at  first  to  have  regarded 
such  scruples  as  an  unmistakable  sign  of  grace. 
"  0  que  cet  etat  plait  d  Dieuf"  he  writes.  But,  on 
reflection,  he  came  to  the  conclusion  that  his 
former  pupil  was  going  a  trifle  too  far,  and  assures 
him  that,  in  time  of  war,  the  occasional  residence 
of  officers  in  religious  houses  was  a  regrettable 
necessity.  A  little  later,  when  rumours  of  the 
very  unfavourable  impression  which  its  com- 
mander's austerity  was  making  on  the  army  had 
reached  him,  he  changes  his  tone  altogether  and 
reproaches  the  prince  with  an  attention  to  the 
minutiae  of  devotion  which  was  altogether  un- 
suited  to  the  circumstances  in  which  he  was 
placed : — 

"  Your  piety  tries  to  govern  an  army  like  a 
nunnery,  and  wears  itself  out  in  little  trifling 
details,  while  it  neglects  everything  that  is  essential 
to  your  honour  and  to  the  glory  of  the  arms  of 

Saint-Simon  himself  admits  that  his  hero  also 
consumed  a  good  deal  of  time,  which  might  have 
been^much  more  profitably  employed,  in  amuse- 
ments, some  of  which  were  quite  unworthy  of  the 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  401 

commander-in-chief  of  a  great  army,  and  that  his 
devotion  to  them  was  very  severely  criticised. 
Thus,  when  an  officer  arrived  from  Lille,  bearing 
the  terms  of  the  capitulation  for  his  ratification, 
he  found  him  playing  shuttlecock  with  the  Due 
de  Berry,  nor  would  he  append  his  signature  to  the 
treaty  until  he  had  finished  the  game.  The  same 
chronicler  adds  that,  on  another  occasion,  when 
intelligence  which  would  have  necessitated  an 
immediate  march  was  hourly  expected,  the  prince 
went  off  to  Tournai  to  play  tennis,  "which  greatly 
scandalised  the  army  and  raised  all  manner  of 
unpleasant  talk." 

At  seven  o'clock  in  the  evening  of  December  11, 
the  Due  de  Bourgogne  arrived  at  Versailles,  and 
alighted  in  the  Cour  des  Princes,  where  he  was 
received  by  Beauvilliers.  Saint-Simon,  who  had 
been  watching  from  a  window,  met  them  as  they 
were  ascending  the  grand  staircase,  and  the  prince, 
wishing  to  show  his  gratitude  for  the  chronicler's 
championship  of  his  cause,  embraced  him  warmly, 
"  which  showed  that  he  knew  better  what  was 
going  on,  than  how  to  maintain  his  dignity."  After 
exchanging  a  few  words  with  his  two  faithful  friends, 
the  duke,  who  seemed  quite  at  ease  and  spoke  to 
every  one  he  met,  went  to  salute  the  King. 

Louis  xiv,  as  was  his  invariable  custom  at  this 
hour  of  the  day,  was  working  in  Madame  de  Main- 
tenon's  apartments,  whither  the  Duchesse  de 
Bourgogne  had  come  to  await  her  husband.  Pont- 
chartrain  was  the  Minister  in  attendance  that 
evening,  and  he  subsequently  related  to  Saint- 
Simon  all  that  passed.  From  the  latter's  account 

402  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

we  learn  that,  when  the  King  was  informed  of  his 
grandson's  arrival,  he  became  embarrassed  and 
"changed  countenance  several  times";  while  the 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  "  appeared  somewhat 
tremulous,  and  fluttered  about  the  room  to  hide 
her  agitation,  pretending  to  be  uncertain  by  which 
door  the  prince  would  arrive";  and  Madame  de 
Maintenon  seemed  to  be  lost  in  thought.  The 
duke  entered  and  advanced  towards  the  King, 
who  at  once  recovered  his  composure,  went  two  or 
three  steps  to  meet  him,  embraced  him,  "  with 
some  demonstration  of  tenderness,"  asked  him  a 
few  questions  about  his  journey,  and  then,  indi- 
cating the  princess,  said  with  a  smile  :  "Have  you 
nothing  to  say  to  her  ?  " 

"The  prince,"  continues  Saint-Simon,  "turned 
a  moment  towards  her,  and  answered  respectfully, 
without  moving  from  his  place,  as  if  he  dared 
not  turn  away  from  the  King.  He  then  saluted 
Madame  de  Maintenon,  who  received  him  well. 
Talk  of  travel,  beds,  and  roads  lasted,  all  standing, 
some  half-quarter  of  an  hour,  when  the  King 
observed  that  it  would  not  be  fair  to  deprive  him 
any  longer  of  the  pleasure  of  being  alone  with  the 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne,  adding  that  they  would 
have  time  to  see  each  other  again." 

The  first  interview  had  thus  passed  off  without 
anything  to  indicate  that  the  Due  de  Bourgogne 
was  in  disgrace,  which  was  an  immense  relief  to 
the  duchess  and  all  his  friends,  though  their  satis- 
faction was  somewhat  discounted  by  the  much 
more  cordial  reception  which  was  accorded  the 
Due  de  Berry,  who  arrived  later  in  the  evening, 
while   the    King    was    at    supper.     As    for    Mon- 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  403 

seigneur,  the  difference  in  his  attitude  towards  the 
two  young  princes,  as  may  be  supposed,  was  even 
more  marked :  towards  the  elder,  he  was  decidedly 
reserved ;  towards  the  younger,  as  affectionate  as  it 
was  in  his  nature  to  be. 

Three  days  later,  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  had  a 
long  audience  of  the  King,  for  the  purpose  of 
giving  him  an  account  of  the  recent  campaign. 
At  its  conclusion,  the  prince  sent  a  note  to  Beau- 
villiers,  in  which  he  informed  him  that,  in  accord- 
ance with  the  advice  of  his  ex-gouverneur ,  he  had 
"confessed  his  faults  and  spoken  freely,"  and  that 
he  had  "reason  to  believe  that  the  King  was 
satisfied  with  him,"  since  he  had  treated  him 
with  great  kindness,  and  had  given  him  to  un- 
derstand that  he  should  have  the  command  of 
an  army  in  the  next  campaign,  if  such  were  his 

A  day  or  two  after  this  audience,  the  Due  de 
Bourgogne  went  to  Meudon,  where  a  long  con- 
versation with  Monseigneur  and  Mile,  de  Choin 
ended  in  a  partial  reconciliation  between  father 
and  son. 

For  this  happy  result  the  diplomacy  of  the 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  was  mainly  responsible.  For 
some  time  the  princess  had  shown  her  morganatic 
mother-in-law  so  much  consideration,  that  she 
had  quite  won  that  lady's  heart,  and  had,  moreover, 
persuaded  Madame  de  Maintenon  to  follow  her 
example.  Grateful  for  these  attentions,  Mile,  de 
Choin  began  to  regret  having  permitted  the  cabal 
to  bring  about  an  estrangement  between  Mon- 
seigneur and   his   eldest   son,   and   determined  to 

1  Marquis  de  Vogue,  le  Due  de  Bourgogne  et  le  Due  de  Beauvilliers. 



employ  her  good  offices  to  heal  the  breach  ;  and, 
as  her  influence  over  the  feeble  prince  was  very 
great,  she  was  in  a  measure  successful. 

The  enemies  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  had 
been  much  disappointed  by  the  comparatively 
favourable  reception  which  Louis  xiv  had  accorded 
his  eldest  grandson.  They  counted,  however,  on 
recovering  their  lost  ground  when  Vendome  arrived, 
since,  if  his  reception  by  the  King  were  a  cordial  one, 
which,  after  making  due  allowance  for  the  near 
relationship  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  to  his  Majesty, 
could  not  certainly  be  said  of  that  extended  to 
the  prince,  the  whole  Court  would  be  obliged  to 
regard  the  King's  attitude  as  a  tacit  condemnation 
of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne's  conduct  in  the  late 
campaign,  and  to  trim  their  sails  accordingly. 

On  December  15,  Vendome  arrived  at  Versailles, 
just  as  Louis  xiv  was  rising  from  the  dinner-table. 
The  King  received  him  "  very  agreeably,"  but  not 
quite  so  cordially  as  the  cabal  had  hoped  ;  and, 
when  his  Majesty  told  him  that  he  would  postpone 
the  audience  which  the  duke  requested  until  the 
following  day,  their  faces  clouded  visibly. 

As  the  Dauphin  had  gone  hunting,  Vendome 
went  next  to  pay  his  respects  to  the  Due  de  Bour- 
gogne. The  prince,  though  by  this  time  fully 
informed  of  all  the  allegations  which  the  general 
and  his  friends  had  brought  against  him,  received 
him  courteously,  for  it  was  contrary  to  his  nature, 
or  rather  to  the  principles  by  which  he  guided  his 
life,  to  harbour  malice,  and,  as  his  letters  to  his 
friends  prove,  he  already  regretted  the  irritation 
which  had  prompted  him  after  Oudenarde  to  write 
in  strong  terms  of  Vendome's  conduct. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  405 

Presently  Monseigneur  returned  from  the  chase, 
and  Vendome  hastened  to  wait  upon  him  in  the 
Princesse  de  Conti's  apartments,  which  were  the 
stronghold  of  the  cabal  at  Versailles.  The  Dauphin 
greeted  him  very  cordially  indeed,  but,  when  he 
begged  the  prince  to  honour  him  by  a  visit  to  his 
country-house  at  Anet,  which  would,  of  course, 
have  been  regarded  as  a  public  declaration  in  his 
favour,  Monseigneur,  who  had  evidently  received 
a  hint  from  the  King,  seemed  very  embarrassed, 
and  asked  to  be  excused  from  giving  an  immediate 
answer.  This  reply  aroused  general  surprise,  and 
Vendome,  greatly  mortified,  soon  took  his  de- 
parture. Saint-Simon  met  him  in  the  gallery, 
on  his  way  to  visit  the  Due  du  Maine,  and  noted 
with  satisfaction  that  he  seemed  in  a  far  from 
amiable  temper. 

Next  day,  Vendome  had  his  promised  audience 
of  the  King,  but  it  was  a  comparatively  brief  one, 
and  his  Majesty  subsequently  showed  plainly  that 
it  was  his  intention  at  present  to  favour  neither 
party,  being  of  opinion  that  both  were  equally  to 
blame  for  the  reverses  in  Flanders.  This  was,  of 
course,  very  far  from  what  Vendome  had  expected, 
and,  after  remaining  a  week  at  Versailles,  where 
"  his  Abbe  Alberoni  presented  himself  at  the  King's 
Mass,  in  the  character  of  a  courtier,  with  unparalleled 
effrontery,"  *  he  took  himself  off  to  Anet.  His 
departure  seems  to  have  been  hastened  by  the 
circumstance  that  he  had  not  been  able  to  summon 
up  sufficient  courage  to  wait  upon  the  Duchesse 
de  Bourgogne,  as  etiquette  required  him  to  do, 
and  that  it  was  impossible  for  him  to  remain  longer 

1  Saint-Simon. 

4o6  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

at  Court,  without  paying  his  respects  to  the  first 
Princess  of  the  Blood. 

Before  leaving,  he  invited  a  number  of  persons 
to  visit  him  at  Anet.  Twelve  months  before,  such 
invitations  had  been  not  only  eagerly  accepted, 
but  actually  contended  for,  even  by  the  greatest 
nobles.  Now,  however,  it  was  very  different, 
since  to  accept  would  have  been  openly  to  espouse 
the  cause  of  one  party  in  a  dispute  in  which 
the  King  had  postponed  judgment.  "  Some  ex- 
cused themselves  from  going,"  says  Saint-Simon  ; 
"  others  promised  to  go,  and  did  not.  Every 
one  made  a  difficulty  about  a  journey  of  fifteen 
leagues,  which  the  year  before  had  been  con- 
sidered as  easy  and  as  necessary  as  that  of 
Marly.  Anet  was  deserted.  The  Due — or  rather 
the  Duchesse — de  Bourgogne  had  scored  the  first 
point  in  the  game. 

The  young  couple,  however,  stood  sorely  in 
need  of  some  encouragement,  for,  if  fear  of  the  King 
imposed  silence  on  their  enemies  at  Versailles,  in 
Paris  they  could  say  and  write  what  they  pleased  ; 
and  the  scribes  of  the  cabal  continued  to  assail  in  the 
most  violent  manner  "  this  divot,  this  shuttlecock- 
player,  this  poltroon,  trembling  at  the  mere  sound 
of  a  cannon " — who  had  brought  disaster  and 
disgrace  upon  the  arms  of  France.  The  theo- 
logical opponents  of  Fenelon,  perceiving  an  oppor- 
tunity of  striking  at  the  master  through  the  pupil, 
joined  in  the  attack  : — 

Cambray  reconnais  ton  pupille, 
II  voit  de  sang-froid  perdre  Lille 

Demeurant  dans  Y inaction. 
Toujours  severe  et  toujours  triste, 

«  A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY  407 

N'est-ce-pas  la  devotion 
D'un  veritable  quietiste?1 

Some  of  the  rhymesters  did  not  spare  the 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne.  They  reminded  her  of 
her  former  weakness  for  Nangis,  and  contrasted 
the  bravery  which  the  supposed  lover  had  shown 
in  Flanders  with  the  conduct  of  the  husband ; 
accused  her  of  rejoicing  over  the  Duke  of  Savoy's 
successes  against  France  ;  and,  as  there  was  some 
talk  at  this  time  of  Vendome  being  given  the 
command  of  the  Army  of  Dauphine,  declared  that 
she  desired  to  ruin  him,  in  order  to  prevent  so 
skilful  a  general  being  employed  against  her  father. 

Vendome  remained  at  Anet  until  the  beginning 
of  February,  when  he  decided  that  his  continued 
absence  from  Court  might  be  interpreted  as  a 
confession  of  defeat,  and,  learning  that  Louis  xiv 
was  about  to  pay  one  of  his  frequent  visits  to 
Marly,  solicited  and  obtained  permission  to  be  of 
the  party.  An  invitation  to  Marly  was  highly 
prized,  and  never  bestowed  upon  any  but  the  most 
favoured  courtiers  ;  and  his  presence  there,  he 
considered,  would  put  an  end  to  any  rumours  to 
his  detriment  which  might  happen  to  be  in  cir- 
culation ;  while,  as  the  rigid  etiquette  observed  at 
Versailles  was  relaxed  on  these  occasions,  he  would 

1  Viscount  Saint-Cyres,  in  his  work  on  Fenelon,  has  published  a 
translation  of  these  verses,  which  is  so  excellent  that  we  cannot 
refrain  from  reproducing  it  : — 

Acknowledge  your  pupil,  my  lord  of  Cambrai, 
When  Lille  is  blockaded,  he's  far  from  the  fray  ; 

In  action  takes  never  a  part. 
His  face  is  so  doleful,  his  mien  is  so  sad, 
That — answer  me — is  not  the  sanctified  lad 

A  Quietist  after  your  heart  ? 

4o8  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

be  under  no  necessity  of  exposing  himself  to  the 
risk  of  a  public  affront  from  the  Duchesse  de 

But  in  this  he  was  mistaken.  One  evening, 
the  Dauphin  and  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  sat 
down  to  play  brelan,  when,  finding  that  their  party 
was  a  player  short,  Monseigneur  sent  for  Vendome, 
whom  he  perceived  at  the  other  end  of  the  salon, 
to  come  and  take  the  vacant  place.  "  Thereupon," 
writes  Saint-Simon,  "  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne 
said  quietly,  but  very  distinctly,  to  Monseigneur, 
that  the  presence  of  M.  de  Vendome  at  Marly  was 
already  sufficiently  painful  to  her,  without  being 
obliged  to  play  cards  with  him."  Monseigneur, 
who  had  acted  on  the  spur  of  the  moment,  realised 
his  mistake,  and,  after  a  glance  round  the  room, 
called  for  some  one  else  ;  and,  when  Vendome  came 
up,  he  had  the  mortification  of  being  sent  away 
again,  and  seeing  the  place  which  had  been  offered 
him  taken  by  another.  "  It  may  be  imagined  to 
what  extent  this  superb  gentleman  was  stung  by 
this  affront.  He  turned  upon  his  heel,  left  the 
salon  as  quickly  as  he  could,  and  soon  afterwards 
retired  to  his  own  room,  there  to  storm  at  his 
leisure."  x 

But  he  was  only  at  the  beginning  of  his  morti- 
fications, for,  so  soon  as  the  card-party  broke  up, 
the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  hastened  to  Madame 
de  Maintenon  ;  told  her  of  what  had  just  occurred  ; 
declared  that,  after  all  the  calumnies  which  Vendome 
and  his  friends  had  circulated  about  her  husband, 
the  mere  fact  of  his  being  invited  to  Marly,  implying 
as  it  did  that  he  still  enjoyed  the  favour  and  con- 

1  Saint-Simon,  Memoires. 



A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  409 

fidence  of  his  sovereign,  was  intolerable  to  her  ; 
and  ended  by  entreating  the  old  lady  to  use  her 
influence  with  the  King  to  exclude  him  in  future. 

Madame  de  Maintenon  consented,  and  depicted 
the  princess's  distress  in  such  moving  terms  to 
the  King,  that,  the  very  next  morning,  his  Majesty 
sent  his  first  valet  de  chambre  Blouin  to  inform 
Vendome  that  he  must  no  longer  expect  to  be 
invited  to  Marly,  since  his  presence  there  was 
distasteful  to  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne,  and  it 
would  be  unfair  to  put  such  a  constraint  upon  her. 

Bitterly  mortified,  Vendome  immediately  retired 
to  the  house  of  one  of  his  friends  at  Clichy  ;  but, 
learning  that  his  abrupt  departure  had  given  rise 
to  a  report  that  he  had  been  expelled  from  Marly, 
he  returned  there  two  days  before  the  visit  con- 
cluded, to  save  appearances,  and  remained  to  the 
end,  "  in  a  continual  shame  and  embarrassment." 

This  reverse  was  soon  followed  by  another. 
Although  excluded  from  Marly,  Meudon  was  still 
open  to  him  ;  and,  as  he  had  a  standing  invitation 
to  go  as  often  as  he  pleased,  he  now  took  advantage 
of  it  whenever  Monseigneur  happened  to  be  there, 
in  order  to  show  that,  if  the  King  had  been  weak 
enough  to  sacrifice  him  to  the  enmity  of  the 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne,  he  was  still  as  high  in 
favour  as  ever  with  the  heir  to  the  throne. 

Now,  since  the  partial  reconciliation  between 
the  Dauphin  and  his  eldest  son,  the  Due  and 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  had  become  frequent 
visitors  to  Meudon  ;  and  they  were  exceedingly 
annoyed  to  find  Vendome  invariably  a  member 
of  the  house-party,  and  still  more  by  the  manner 
in  which  he  behaved.     "  To  see  him  at  Meudon, 

4io  A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

you  would  have  certainly  believed  him  the  master 
of  the  salon.  .  .  .  He  never  failed  audaciously 
to  present  himself  before  the  Duchesse  de  Bour- 
gogne, as  if  to  make  her  realise  that  in  Mon- 
seigneur's  house,  at  all  events,  he  was  a  match 
for  her."  The  Due  de  Bourgogne  supported  this 
— "  his  piety  compelled  him  to  do  so  " — but  the 
duchess  was  mortally  offended,  and  watched  her 
opportunity  to  close  the  doors  of  Meudon  against 
Vendome,  as  she  had  already  closed  those  of 
Marly.     She  had  not  long  to  wait. 

About  two  months  after  the  incident  we  have 
just  related,  Louis  xiv,  Madame  de  Maintenon, 
and  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  came  to  Meudon 
to  dine  with  Monseigneur.  Vendome,  who  was, 
as  usual,  staying  there,  had  the  effrontery  to 
present  himself  at  the  door  of  the  coach  as  the 
King  and  his  companions  alighted,  in  order  to 
compel  the  princess  to  salute  him.  Deeply 
offended,  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  gave  him 
only  a  mere  pretence  of  a  bow,  turned  away  her 
head,  and  passed  into  the  house.  Instead  of 
taking  warning  by  this  rebuff,  the  duke  had  the 
imprudence  to  approach  the  lady  again  after 
dinner,  as  she  was  playing  cards,  only  to  experi- 
ence the  same  kind  of  reception,  which,  however, 
was  on  this  occasion  so  very  marked,  that  he  was 
obliged  to  retire  from  the  room  to  hide  his  con- 
fusion. As  for  the  princess,  she  had  recourse 
to  the  same  tactics  which  had  served  her  so  well 
at  Marly,  and,  after  complaining  to  the  Dauphin 
of  the  conduct  of  his  guest,  she  addressed  herself 
to  Madame  de  Maintenon,  and,  through  her, 
to    Louis    xiv,    "  representing    how    hard    it    was 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  411 

for  her  to  be  treated  by  Monseigneur  with  less 
consideration  than  by  the  King,  for,  while  the 
latter  had  banished  M.  de  Vendome  from  Marly, 
the  former  continued  to  receive  him  at  Meudon." 

Nor  were  her  complaints  unheeded,  for,  the 
following  day,  while  Vendome,  all  unsuspicious 
of  the  storm  which  was  impending,  was  playing 
cards  at  Meudon,  the  Due  d'Antin  arrived  from 
Versailles,  drew  him  into  an  adjoining  room,  on 
the  pretext  of  discussing  some  private  business, 
with  which,  he  said,  Vendome  had  entrusted  him, 
and  told  him  that  he  had  been  instructed  by  the 
King  "  to  beg  Monseigneur  not  to  invite  him  to 
Meudon  any  more,  as  he  himself  had  ceased  to 
invite  him  to  Marly,  since  his  presence  displeased 
the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne." 

The  astonishment  and  wrath  of  Vendome  may 
be  imagined  ;  but  from  the  order  of  the  master 
there  was  no  appeal  ;  and  when,  a  few  days  later, 
the  return  of  Monseigneur  to  Versailles  broke 
up  the  house-party,  Meudon,  like  Marly,  saw 
him  no  more.  Nor  did  he  venture  to  present 
himself  at  Versailles,  fearing  that  the  implacable 
princess  might  cause  him  to  be  driven  from  there 
also — though  it  is  unlikely  that  Louis  xiv  would 
have  proceeded  to  this  extremity,  so  long  as  the 
duke  conducted  himself  with  discretion — but 
retired  to  one  of  his  country-houses,  where  he 
found  himself  completely  abandoned. 

The  fall  of  "  this  enormous  Colossus " — as 
Saint-Simon  terms  him — immensely  increased  the 
prestige  of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne.  The 
Court  realised  that  she  must  no  longer  be  regarded 
as   a   spoiled   child   to   be   flattered   and   amused, 

4i2  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

but  as  an  able  and  courageous  young  woman, 
who  would  prove  herself  a  powerful  friend  and  a 
redoubtable  enemy.  "  All  who  were  attached  to 
her,"  says  Saint-Simon,  "  were  charmed  to  see 
of  what  she  was  capable  ;  and  all  who  were 
opposed  to  her  or  her  husband  trembled.  This 
cabal,  so  formidable,  so  swollen  with  pride,  so 
accredited,  so  closely  united  in  order  to  over- 
throw them,  and  reign,  after  the  King's  death, 
under  Monseigneur,  in  their  place — those  chiefs, 
male  and  female,  so  enterprising,  so  audacious, 
who,  owing  to  their  success,  had  hoped  for  such 
great  things,  and  whose  imperious  words  had 
reduced  every  one  to  subjection,  fell  now  into 
mortal  discouragement  and  fear.  It  was  a 
pleasure  to  see  them  artfully  and  basely  making 
overtures  to  those  of  the  opposite  party  whom 
they  believed  to  possess  any  influence,  and  whom 
their  arrogance  had  caused  them  to  hate  and 
despise  ;  and  particularly  to  see  with  what  em- 
barrassment, what  fear,  what  terror,  they  began 
to  crawl  before  the  young  princess,  and  despicably 
to  court  the  Due  de  Bourgogne,  employing  towards 
them  all  kind  of  obsequiousness." 

Saint-Simon  has  here  somewhat  exaggerated 
the  gravity  of  the  defeat  which  the  cabal  had 
sustained,  for,  though  the  weaker-kneed  members, 
and  all  the  time  -  serving  courtiers  whom  its 
momentary  success  had  drawn  into  its  ranks, 
hastened  to  make  their  peace  with  the  victor,  its 
leaders,  some  of  whom  had  compromised  them- 
selves beyond  all  hope  of  pardon,  continued  to 
meet  and  conspire  at  Meudon,  until  the  death  of 
Monseigneur  came  to  shatter  their  hopes. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  413 

As  for  Vendome,  he  had  not  yet  reached  the 
end  of  his  troubles.  Regarding  the  disgrace  into 
which  he  had  fallen  as  due  solely  to  the  enmity 
of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne,  and,  in  the  belief 
that  the  King  was  still  inclined  to  accept  his 
explanation  of  the  reverses  of  the  previous  year, 
he  flattered  himself  that  he  would  be  given  the 
command  of  an  army  in  the  ensuing  campaign, 
when  another  Luzzara  or  Calcinato  might  enable 
him  to  regain  the  brilliant  position  which  his 
pride  and  arrogance  had  cost  him.  He  was  soon 

It  will  be  remembered  that,  in  his  despatches 
after  Oudenarde,  Vendome  had  made  a  bitter 
attack  on  the  Marquis  de  Puysegur,  to  whose 
influence  with  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  he  had 
attributed  the  loss  of  that  battle,  and  in  the  con- 
versation which  he  had  with  the  King  on  his 
return  from  Flanders,  he  had  repeated  his  com- 
plaints against  that  officer,  whom  he  charged 
with  having  several  times  thwarted  his  plans. 
Unfortunately  for  the  duke,  in  April  1709, 
Puysegur,  whose  military  duties  had  retained 
him  on  the  frontier  during  the  winter,  reappeared 
at  Versailles,  and  had  a  private  audience  of  the 
King,  who  held  him  in  high  esteem,  and  felt  that 
it  was  only  just  to  hear  his  version  of  the  matter. 
Informed  of  the  charges  made  against  him  by 
Vendome,  Puysegur  not  only  defended  himself 
successfully,  but  carried  the  war  into  his  accuser's 
camp,  and  gave  the  King  a  full  and  detailed  account 
of  all  the  faults  committed  by  that  personage 
from  the  very  beginning  of  the  campaign.  It 
was  no  longer  possible  for  the  King  to  doubt  that 

4i4  A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

Vendome  had  grossly  deceived  him,  for  Puysegur 
was  a  man  of  the  highest  integrity,  and  his  state- 
ments were  corroborated  by  reports  which  reached 
him  from  other  quarters.  A  few  days  later, 
Vendome  was  informed  that  he  would  cease  to 
enjoy  the  emoluments  of  a  lieutenant-general  on 
the  active  list. 

Subsequent  events  were  to  prove  that,  in 
refusing  to  avail  himself  any  longer  of  Vendome's 
services,  Louis  xiv  committed  a  grave  mistake, 
though  it  is  one  for  which  he  can  scarcely  be 
blamed.  The  sword  which  his  own  King  had 
rejected  was  eagerly  demanded  by  the  King  of 
Spain  in  the  following  year  ;  and,  by  one  of  the 
most  brilliant  campaigns  in  the  whole  war,  Ven- 
dome completely  rehabilitated  his  own  military 
reputation  and  the  fortunes  of  Philip  v,  at  least 
so  far  as  Spain  itself  was  concerned. 

Burning  to  remove  the  stigma  under  which 
he  rested,  he  exerted  himself  to  the  utmost ;  and 
seldom  in  military  history  shall  we  find  a  greater 
contrast  than  that  between  the  extraordinary 
inertia  which  he  had  displayed  in  Flanders  and  the 
almost  incredible  activity  which  preceded  the 
battles     of     Brihuega     and     Villa-Viciosa.1     The 

1  "  At  this  crisis,  Vendome  was  all  himself.  He  set  out  from 
Talavera  with  his  troops,  and  pursued  the  retreating  army  of  the 
Allies  with  a  speed  perhaps  never  equalled  in  such  a  season,  and 
in  such  a  country.  He  marched  night  and  day.  He  swam,  at  the 
head  of  his  cavalry,  the  flooded  stream  of  Henares,  and  in  a  few 
days  overtook  Stanhope,  who  was  at  Brihuega,  with  the  left  wing 
of  the  Allied  Army.  '  Nobody  with  me,'  says  the  English  general, 
'  imagined  that  they  had  any  foot  within  some  days'  march  of  us, 
and  our  misfortune  is  owing  to  the  incredible  diligence  which  their 
army  made '  "— Macaulay,  Essay  on  Lord  Mahon's  "  War  of  the 
Succession  in  Spain." 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  41  5 

grateful  Philip  overwhelmed  Vendome  with 
honours,  but  the  victorious  general  did  not  live 
long  to  enjoy  them,  as  eighteen  months  later 
(June  15,  1712)  he  died  at  Vifiaroz,  in  Valencia, 
from  an  illness  which,  if  we  are  to  believe  Saint- 
Simon,  was  caused  by  a  surfeit  of  stale  fish.  The 
King  of  Spain  ordered  public  mourning,  and 
caused  the  remains  to  be  brought  to  Madrid  and 
buried  in  the  vaults  of  the  Escurial. 


The  winter  of  1708-1709 — Misery  of  the  people — Generosity 
of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne,  who  inspires  his  wife  with  a  desire  to 
follow  his  example — Refusal  of  Louis  xiv  to  allow  the  Due  de 
Bourgogne  to  serve  as  a  simple  officer  in  the  Army  of  the  Rhine — 
Birth  of  the  Due  d'Anjou  (afterwards  Louis  xv) — The  marriage 
of  the  Due  de  Berry — The  King  gives  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne 
the  entire  control  of  her  Household 

THE  news  that  Vendome's  services  would  not 
be  required  for  the  campaign  of  1709,  which 
was  soon  followed  by  the  announcement 
that  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  had  been  given  the 
command  of  the  Army  of  the  Rhine,  with  the 
Marechal  d'Harcourt  to  advise  him,  indicated 
clearly  Louis  xiv's  opinion  as  to  where  the  re- 
sponsibility for  the  defeat  of  Oudenarde  and  the 
loss  of  Lille  lay,  and  gave  a  great  impetus  to  the 
reaction  in  the  prince's  favour  at  the  Court  which 
the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne' s  discomfiture  of  his 
traducer  had  already  started.  Among  the  general 
public,  with  whom  Vendome  had  long  enjoyed 
immense  popularity,  this  change  of  feeling  was 
naturally  more  gradual,  though  it  cannot  be  doubted 
that  it  would  have  been  considerably  accelerated, 
if  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  had  not  so  rigorously 
observed  the  Scriptural  precept  concerning  the 
secrecy  of  almsgiving. 

The  winter  of  1708-1709  was  one  of  the  most 


A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  417 

terrible  which  France  had  ever  experienced  ;  "  the 
memory  of  man  could  find  no  parallel  to  it."  l 
Until  the  end  of  the  first  week  of  January,  the 
weather  had  been  unusually  warm  for  the  time  of 
year,  and  in  the  southern  provinces  the  trees  were 
in  bud,  and  it  seemed  as  though  spring  had  already 
come.  But  then  the  thermometer  began  to  fall 
rapidly,  and  the  most  intense  cold  prevailed.  "  In 
four  days  the  Seine  and  all  the  other  rivers  were 
frozen  over,  and,  what  had  never  been  seen  before, 
the  sea  froze  all  along  the  coasts,  so  as  to  bear 
even  heavily-laden  carts  upon  it."  l  This  Arctic 
weather  lasted  for  three  weeks,  when  it  was  suc- 
ceeded by  a  thaw,  and  it  was  hoped  that  the  worst 
was  over.  The  contrary  was  the  fact,  for  in  a 
few  days  the  cold  set  in  with  greater  severity  than 
ever,  accompanied  by  a  heavy  fall  of  snow  and 
biting  winds,  which  greatly  increased  the  suffering. 

In  Paris,  the  Opera  and  the  other  theatres 
closed  their  doors,  and  the  law  courts  suspended 
their  sittings,  for  neither  presidents  nor  councillors 
could  sit  in  them,  on  account  of  the  cold.  At 
Versailles,  the  great  state-rooms  and  galleries  were 
absolutely  uninhabitable,  and  the  shivering  courtiers 
fled  from  these  gilded  ice-houses  to  their  own  apart- 
ments, where,  however,  the  wood-fires,  "  which," 
says  Madame,  "  scorched  the  face  without  warming 
the  body,"  afforded  them  but  little  protection. 
According  to  Saint-Simon,  "  the  violence  of  the 
two  frosts  was  such,  that  the  strongest  elixirs  and 
the  most  spirituous  liquors  broke  their  bottles  in 
the  cupboards  of  rooms  with  fires  in  them  "  ;  and 
he    relates    how,    supping   one    evening   with    the 

1  Saint-Simon. 

4i  8  A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

Due  de  Villeroy,  in  a  small  room  which  was  only 
separated  from  the  kitchen  by  a  little  ante-chamber, 
they  saw  pieces  of  ice  fall  into  their  glasses  as  the 
wine  was  poured  out,  though  the  bottles  had  been 
brought  from  the  kitchen.  Many  persons  at  the 
Court  fell  ill  of  pneumonia  and  kindred  diseases, 
and  several  cases  ended  fatally,  among  the  victims 
being  Louis  xiv's  old  flame,  the  Princesse  de  Soubise,1 
and  the  Marechale  de  la  Mothe,  formerly  gouver- 
nante  to  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  and  his  brothers. 

If  such  were  the  condition  of  the  great,  it  is 
easy  to  conceive  what  must  have  been  the  sufferings 
of  the  poor.  In  Paris,  Madame  declares  that  "  the 
people  died  from  the  cold  like  flies,' '  and  that 
"  every  morning  one  heard  of  persons  who  had 
been  found  frozen  to  death "  ;  while  among  the 
wretched  ill-clad  peasants  in  their  tumbledown 
hovels,  where  the  unglazed  windows  let  in  all  the 
cold,  the  mortality  was  frightful. 

To  frost  succeeded  famine,  for  the  cold  had 
been  so  intense  that  it  had  ruined  everything. 
1 '  There  were  no  walnut-trees,  no  olive-trees,  no 
vines  left — none,  at  least,  worth  mentioning  ;  the 
other  fruit-trees  died  in  great  numbers,  the  vege- 
tables perished,  and  all  the  grain  in  the  earth.  It 
is  impossible  to  imagine  the  desolation  of  this 
general  ruin."  2  The  price  of  bread  rose  in  pro- 
portion to  the  despair  for  the  next  harvest ;  soon  it 
was  beyond  the  means  of  all  but  the  comparatively 
well-to-do.  The  evil  was  aggravated  by  speculation 
and  by   a  monstrous  edict  which   prohibited   the 

1  On  the  Princesse  de  Soubise  and  her  relations  with  Louis  xiv, 
see  the  author's  "Madame  de  Montespan." 

2  Saint-Simon. 

A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY  419 

sowing  of  spring  corn.  This  was  subsequently 
revoked,  but  too  late  to  undo  the  harm  it  had 
wrought.1  The  Government,  indeed,  seemed  power- 
less to  cope  with  the  situation,  and  the  ordinances 
it  issued  did  more  harm  than  good,  while  the  King, 
by  forbidding  the  Parlements  to  take  steps  against 
the  monopolists,  because  of  his  jealousy  of  the 
smallest  encroachment  on  the  royal  prerogative, 
did  much  to  encourage  the  heartless  speculators 
who  were  battening  on  the  miseries  of  their  country- 
men. "  The  dearth  is  frightful,"  wrote  Madame. 
"  One  cannot  go  out  without  being  followed  by 
people  who  are  black  with  hunger.  Everywhere 
one  sees  people  dropping,  literally  dead  of  starva- 
tion." Food-riots  broke  out  in  several  towns ; 
in  Paris,  chansons,  leaflets,  and  placards  attacking 
Chamillart,  Madame  de  Maintenon,  and  even  the 
King  circulated  freely  ;  and  a  disturbance  among 
the  starving  labourers  employed  on  some  relief- 
works  near  the  Porte  Saint-Martin,  owing  to  their 
not  receiving  the  bad  bread  which  was  their  only 
wage,  might  have  developed  into  a  regular  insurrec- 
tion, but  for  the  courage  and  tact  of  gallant  old 

The  kind  heart  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  was 
deeply  touched  by  the  misery  of  the  people.  If 
he,  instead  of  his  grandfather,  had  been  at  the  head 
of  the  State,  there  can  be  little  doubt,  from  the 
projects  of  reform  which  were  found  among  his 
papers  after  his  death,  that  prompt  and  effective 
measures  would  have  been  taken  to  alleviate  the 
distress.  But  his  views  were  far  too  much  in 
advance  of  his   time   to  have   found  favour  with 

-1  Michelet,  Histoire  de  France. 



Louis  xiv  and  his  Ministers,  even  if  he  had  ventured 
to  express  them  ;  and  the  only  way  in  which  he 
could  show  his  sympathy  with  the  sufferers  was  by 
assisting  them  from  his  own  purse. 

And  this  he  did  to  an  extent  which  no  one  but 
his  most  intimate  friends,  and  the  clergy  through 
whom  his  alms  were  distributed,  were  ever  allowed 
to  suspect.  "  He  was  so  convinced  of  the  obliga- 
tion of  almsgiving,"  writes  the  author  of  a  little 
book  entitled  Memoire  des  principales  actions  de 
vertu  qu'une  personne  de  probite  a  remarquees  dans 
Monseigneur  le  Da^lphin,  who  is  believed  to  have 
been  the  Abbe"  Huchon,  at  that  time  cure  of  Ver- 
sailles, "  that  he  has  often  told  me  that  I  should 
answer  before  God  for  the  poor  of  Versailles  who 
were  perishing  for  want  of  assistance,  if  I  did  not 
warn  him  of  their  pressing  needs.  It  was  in  this 
spirit  that  in  the  year  1709,  in  which,  owing  to  the 
high  price  of  food,  they  suffered  more  than  in  any 
other,  he  often  gave  them  all  the  money  he  had, 
without  keeping  back  anything." 

The  accounts  found  in  the  Due  de  Bourgogne's 
desk  after  his  death  prove  that  the  writer  does  not 
exaggerate  the  extent  of  the  prince's  generosity, 
since  they  revealed  that,  out  of  the  12,000  livres 
a  month  which  the  King  allowed  his  grandson  for 
his  private  expenses,  he  had  been  in  the  habit  of 
reserving  only  1000  for  his  own  needs  ;  the  rest 
he  dispensed  in  charity. 

Nor  did  his  self-denial  end  here.  Proyart  tells 
us  that  he  would  willingly  have  stripped  his  apart- 
ments of  every  article  of  value  which  they  con- 
tained, and  "sold  them  for  the  benefit  of  the  poor, 
if  he  had  not  reflected  that  they  were  really  the 

A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY  421 

property  of  the  King.  He  possessed,  however,  a 
fine  collection  of  gems,  of  which  he  was  an  ardent 
connoisseur,  and  this  of  course  he  could  dispose  of 
as  he  pleased.  "  By  degrees,  he  parted  with  the 
most  valuable,  but  he  had  retained  some  of  them. 
Preciselv  in  this  year  1709,  the  cure"  of  Versailles 
having  come  to  inform  him  that  the  misery  still 
continued,  he  took  him  into  his  cabinet  and  handed 
him  his  gems.  '  Monsieur  le  Cure,'  said  he,  '  since 
we  have  no  money,  and  the  poor  are  dying  of  hunger, 
die  ut  lapides  isti  panes  fiant '  ;  and  the  stones  were 
changed  into  bread."  x 

The  same  writer  relates  that  the  Duchesse  de 
Bourgogne,  who  was  inclined  to  be  extravagant 
and  was  frequently  in  debt,  did  not  at  first  alto- 
gether approve  of  the  excessive  generosity  of  her 
husband.  One  day,  when  her  finances  happened 
to  be  at  an  unusually  low  ebb,  she  ventured  to 
suggest  that  she  herself  might  not  be  an  unworthy 
object  of  his  charity.  The  prince,  instead  of 
refusing  her,  wrote  out  a  list  of  the  persons  whom 
he  proposed  to  assist,  with  the  sums  he  desired 
each  to  receive.  This  he  gave  to  his  wife,  telling 
her  that  she  might  strike  out  the  names  of  any 
one  whose  need  appeared  to  her  less  urgent  than 
her  own  and  keep  the  money  herself.  The 
princess  sat  down  and  took  up  a  pen,  with  the 
intention  of  materially  reducing  the  number  of 
the  duke's  pensioners,  many  of  whom  she  did 
not  doubt  had  been  imposing  on  his  benevolence. 
But   when   she   read   the   names — honest   peasants 

1  Vie  du  Dauphin,  pdre  de  Louis  XV.  Saint-Simon  relates  that 
the  prince  sold,  on  another  occasion,  two  little  silver  pails  which 
he  used  to  cool  his  wine,  and  sent  the  money  to  the  poor. 

422  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

of  the  neighbourhood  whom  the  failure  of  their 
crops  had  ruined,  children  whose  parents  had 
perished  of  cold  and  hunger,  widows  whose  husbands 
had  fallen  at  Blenheim,  Ramillies,  or  Oudenarde — 
the  pen  fell  from  her  hand,  and  she  handed  back 
the  list,  observing  :  "  One  must  admit  that  all 
these  people  are  more  to  be  pitied  than  I  am." 

This  lesson  was  not  lost  upon  the  Duchesse  de 
Bourgogne,  who  had  a  kind  heart,  and  only  re- 
quired a  fuller  acquaintance  with  the  misery 
around  her  to  experience  an  immediate  desire  to 
relieve  it ;  and,  some  time  later,  her  husband 
learned,  to  his  great  joy,  that,  without  saying 
anything  to  him  about  it,  she  had  not  only  dis- 
pensed a  considerable  sum  in  charity,  but  had 
made  arrangements  for  forty  poor  persons  to  be 
fed  every  day  at  her  expense  during  Lent.1 

Greatly  to  his  disappointment,  the  Due  de 
Bourgogne  did  not,  after  all,  serve  in  the  campaign 
of  1709.  The  revocation  of  his  appointment  to 
the  command  of  the  Army  of  the  Rhine,  how- 
ever, was  due  to  financial  and  not  to  military 
reasons,  the  fact  being  that  the  exhausted  Treasury 
was  found  to  be  quite  unable  to  support  the  heavy 
expense  of  the  entourage  which  Louis  xiv  con- 
sidered indispensable  to  the  princely  dignity  ; 
and  the  King  accordingly  cancelled,  not  only  his 
grandson's  appointment,  but  those  of  Monseigneur 
to  the  Army  of  Flanders,  and  the  Due  d' Orleans  to 
the  command  in  Spain. 

According  to  Proyart,  the  Due  de  Bourgogne 
entreated  the  King  to  permit  him  to  go  to  the 
army  unaccompanied  by  any  suite,  declaring  that 

1  Proyart,  Vie  du  Dauphin,  pere  de  Louis  xv. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  423 

he  was  perfectly  willing  to  live  as  a  simple  officer 
and  endure  all  the  hardships  of  a  soldier's  life. 
Such  an  example  could  scarcely  have  failed  to 
produce  an  excellent  effect  upon  the  troops,  and 
would  have  gone  far  to  remove  the  unfortunate 
impression  which  the  prince  had  made  in  the 
previous  campaign.  But  Louis  xiv  was  of  opinion 
that  for  his  grandson  to  go  to  the  wars  without 
the  usual  train  of  equerries,  grooms,  and  lackeys 
would  be  most  derogatory  to  his  rank,  and  refused 
to  hear  of  it. 

In  the  summer  of  that  year,  the  Duchesse  de 
Bourgogne  was  again  in  an  interesting  condition, 
and  at  the  end  of  September  we  find  her  writing 
to  Madame  Roy  ale  that  she  "  hopes  very  much 
to  give  her  another  grandson."  Her  hopes  were 
realised,  and  at  a  quarter-past  eight  on  the  morning 
of  February  15,  1710,  the  future  Louis  xv  made 
his  entry  into  the  world,  and  received  the  title  of 
Due  d'Anjou.  "  He  is  the  prettiest  child  in  the 
world,"  writes  the  proud  mother,  five  weeks 
later  to  Madame  Roy  ale,  "  and  I  hope  that  he 
will  become  a  beauty.  Although  it  is  of  no  con- 
sequence when  they  grow  up,  one  always  prefers 
to  have  a  pretty  child  than  an  ugly  one."  1 

On  the  occasion  of  the  birth  of  the  second 
Due  de  Bretagne  in  January  1707,  Louis  xiv,  it 
will  be  remembered,  had  forbidden  all  public 
rejoicings  ;  but  though,  in  the  interval,  the  condition 
of  France  had  become  even  more  deplorable,  he 
issued  no  such  orders  now,  and  the  event  was 
celebrated  by  fetes  in  Paris  and  a  number  of  other 

1  Letter  of  March  24,  1710,  in  Gagniere,  Marie  A  dilaide  de  Savoie  : 
Leitres  et  Correspondances. 

424  A -ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

towns.  He  was  no  doubt  prompted  by  the  same 
reason  which  had  caused  him  to  insist  on  some 
attempt  being  made  to  observe  the  Carnival  of 
the  previous  year  at  the  Court,  notwithstanding 
the  horrors  of  that  terrible  winter,  namely,  the 
desire  to  present  a  bold  front  to  his  enemies  and 
to  show  to  Europe  that  misfortune  at  home  and 
abroad  had  been  powerless  to  quell  the  courage 
of  himself  and  his  people.  As  for  the  nation,  it 
appears  to  have  regarded  the  birth  of  a  prince 
of  the  direct  line  as  a  presage  of  returning  peace 
and  prosperity,  though  one  would  have  imagined 
that  the  money  expended  by  the  municipalities 
on  fireworks,  illuminations,  and  such  like  methods 
of  demonstrating  their  loyalty,  might  have  been 
more  profitably  employed  in  relieving  the  distress 
in  their  midst. 

The  birth  of  the  little  Due  d'Anjou  was  soon 
followed  by  another  important  event  in  the  Royal 
Family,  and  one  which  served  to  strengthen  still 
further  the  position  of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne 
at  the  Court.  Although  the  Due  de  Berry,  the 
youngest  of  Monseigneur's  three  sons,  was  now 
twenty-four,  an  age  at  which  most  princes  had 
been  married  for  several  years,  he  was  still  un- 
provided  with  a  wife.  In  time  of  peace,  a  foreign 
princess  of  suitable  rank  would  long  ago  have  been 
found  for  him  ;  but  for  the  past  eight  years  the 
chief  Catholic  States  of  Europe,  with  the  exception 
of  Spain  and  Bavaria,  where  there  were  no 
princesses  of  marriageable  age,  had  been  at  war 
with  France,  which  had,  of  course,  rendered  such 
an  alliance  out  of  the  question.  However,  of 
late  the  Due  de  Berry  had  begun  to  take  so  much 

A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY  -: 

pleasure  in  feminine  society,  that  Louis  xiv  feared 
that,  if  he  did  not  mam*  him  without  delay,  he 
might  engage  in  some  liaison  from  which  it  would 
be  difficult  to  detach  him,  or  possibly  follow  his 
own  and  Monsi  ;■::<?' s  example  and  contract  a 
morganatic  union.  In  default  of  a  foreism 
princess,  he  therefore  decided  that  he  must  espouse 
a  French  one,  that  is  to  say,  either  Mile,  de 
Bourbon,  elder  daughter  of  Madame  la  Due'. 
or  the  eldest  daughter  of  the  Due  and  Duche- 
d"  Orleans,  who  was  called  Mademoiselle}  since 
they  were  the  only  princesses  of  marriageable  a: 

The  question  upon  which  of  his  grand-daughters 
the  King's  choice  would  fall  naturally  aroused 
the  liveliest  interest  at  the  Court.  In  ordinary- 
circumstances,  the  fact  that  Mademoiselle  ? 
the  daughter  of  the  head  of  the  vounser  branch 
of  the  Royal  Family,  while  her  cousin  was  only 
the  daughter  of  the  first  Prince  of  the  Blood, 
would  have  been  generally  regarded  as  sufficient 
to  entitle  her  to  the  preference.  But  the  Due 
d' Orleans  was  in  very  bad  odour  with  the  King, 
owin?  to  the  intrisrues  for  his  own  aggrandizement 
which  he  had  carried  on  with  the  Allies,  when 
commanding  in  Spain  two  years  before,  and  his 
debauched  life  :  he  was  disliked  by  Madame  de 
Maintenon.  and  simply  detested  by  the  Dauphin. 
"*  who  alwavs  d^laved  his  hatred  ir.  the  m  -: 
indecent  manner."  s  Moreover.  Mile,  de  Bourbon 
was  two  years  older  than  Mademt  and  th-; 

fore  nearer  the  Due  de  Berrv's  ae       md  was  bv 


•Louise  Elisabeth  ce  Bourbr..   cded  V  3ourbon,  bom 

N   vember  22,  16: 3 
1  Marie  Louise  £  I  -    I 
5    c 

426  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

far  the  more  pleasing  of  the  two  young  ladies. 
Most  people  therefore  inclined  to  the  belief  that  the 
King's  decision  would  be  in  her  favour. 

Now,  the  prospect  of  a  match  between  the 
Due  de  Berry  and  the  daughter  of  Madame  la 
Duchesse  was  not  one  which  the  Duchesse  de 
Bourgogne  could  afford  to  regard  with  com- 
placency. In  the  first  place,  it  would  probably 
result  in  the  Due  de  Berry,  hitherto  so  much 
attached  to  his  eldest  brother  and  to  herself, 
being  drawn  into  the  ranks  of  the  opposing  faction, 
and  would  certainly  strengthen  the  influence  of 
Madame  la  Duchesse  over  Monseigneur,  who, 
resenting  the  King's  prohibition  to  receive  Ven- 
dome  at  Meudon,  had  again  begun  to  treat  both 
the  princess  and  her  husband  with  marked  cold- 
ness. In  the  second  place,  she  was  well  aware 
of  the  power  of  novelty  over  Louis  xiv's  mind — 
was  not  her  own  exceptional  favour  a  signal  ex- 
ample of  it  ? — and  feared  that  if  a  young,  pretty, 
and  vivacious  girl,  like  Mile,  de  Bourbon,  were 
admitted  to  the  King's  circle,  she  might  find  in 
her  a  dangerous  rival.  On  the  other  hand,  she 
and  her  husband  had  nothing  to  fear  from  the 
marriage  of  the  Due  de  Berry  with  Mademoiselle. 
They  had  always  been  on  very  friendly  terms  with 
both  the  Due  and  Duchesse  d' Orleans;  while  the 
girl  herself,  though  not  unattractive  in  person,  pos- 
sessed none  of  the  qualities  which  were  likely  to 
appeal  to  the  King. 

If  we  are  to  believe  Saint-Simon,  it  was  he  who 
aroused  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  to  a  sense  of 
her  "  great  duty  to  herself,  which  was  perpetually 
in   danger   of   being   stifled   by   the   fictitious   and 

A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY  427 

petty  duties  of  daily  life,"  and  he  certainly  seems 
to  have  displayed  almost  superhuman  energy  in 
the  struggle  which  ensued,  not  even  disdaining  to 
make  use  of  his  enemies  the  Jesuits,  who,  he  con- 
fesses, "  became  a  powerful  instrument."  It  may 
be  doubted,  however,  if  "  all  the  machines  which 
he  regularly  wound  up  in  reciprocal  cadence 
every  day "  would  have  succeeded  in  breaking 
down  the  aversion  of  Louis  xiv,  Madame  de  Main- 
tenon,  and  Monseigneur  to  a  marriage  which  would 
so  much  increase  the  importance  of  a  man  whom 
they  all  three  regarded  with  aversion,  had  it  not 
been  for  the  persistence  and  address  with  which 
the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  seconded  their  efforts. 
Repulsed  at  first,  she  returned  again  and  again  to 
the  charge,  and  at  length  her  efforts  were  crowned 
with  success  ;  Monseigneur,  pressed  by  the  King, 
gave  a  reluctant  consent  ;  the  Due  de  Berry,  who 
would  appear  to  have  been  allowed  very  little 
voice  in  the  matter,  intimated  his  willingness  to 
obey  his  Majesty  ;  and,  on  July  5,  1710,  he  and 
Mademoiselle  were  married  in  the  chapel  of  Ver- 
sailles, with  as  much  splendour  as  circumstances 
would  permit. 

Both  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  and  her  ally, 
Saint-Simon,  soon  had  cause  to  regret  their  work, 
and  the  latter  confesses  that,  if  he  had  only  known 
"  the  half-quarter — what  do  I  say  ? — the  thous- 
andth part  of  what  we  have  unhappily  been  the 
witnesses,"  he  would  have  worked  with  even 
greater  zeal  to  prevent  the  marriage  than  he  did 
to  bring  it  about.  The  young  Duchesse  de  Berry, 
who,  until  her  brilliant  position  was  assured,  had 
succeeded   in   conveying   the   impression   that   she 

428  A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

was  a  damsel  of  a  singularly  modest  and  retiring 
disposition,  soon  began  to  give  the  Court  a  glimpse 
of  those  qualities  which  were  to  secure  for  her 
such  unenviable  celebrity  ;  though  it  was  not  until 
after  the  death  of  her  husband  and  of  Louis  xiv, 
that  she  gave  her  vices  a  free  rein.  Her  talent  for 
dissimulation,  however,  seems  to  have  enabled 
her  to  conceal  the  dark  side  of  her  character  from 
the  Due  de  Berry,  who,  uxorious,  like  both  his 
brothers,  thought  her,  says  Madame,  "  the  prettiest 
person  in  the  world,  and  that  Helen  was  not  half 
so  beautiful  "  l — an  opinion  which  he  shared  with 
his  father-in-law — and  he  was  as  wax  in  her  hands. 
At  the'end'of  that  year,  the  Duchesse  de  Bour- 
gogne  received  what  was  regarded  as  an  extra- 
ordinary proof  of  the  King's  favour  and  confidence. 
Louis  xiv  announced  that  he  was  giving  her  the 
entire  control  of  the  affairs  of  her  Household,  with 
the  disposal  of  all  posts  belonging  to  it  which  might 
become  vacant,  a  privilege  which  neither  the  Queen 
nor  the  Bavarian  Dauphine  had  enjoyed.  Old 
courtiers  could  scarcely  bring  themselves  to  believe 
that  his  Majesty  really  intended  this  to  be  under- 
stood in  a  literal  sense,  and  Dangeau  tells  us  that  one 
of  them  ventured  to  observe  that  he  presumed  the 
princess  would  render  an  account  to  him  of  all  that 
she  did.  To  which  the  King  replied  :  "I  have 
sufficient  trust  in  her  not  to  wish  her  to  render  me 

1  Madame — who,  it  should  be  remembered,  was  the  lady's  grand- 
mother— adds  :  "  In  point  of  fact,  she  is  not  pretty,  at  all,  either 
in  face  or  figure.  She  is  thick-set,  with  long  arms,  and  short  hips  ; 
she  walks  badly,  and  is  ungraceful  in  all  her  movements  ;  has  a 
discontented  face  ;  is  marked  by  small-pox  ;  has  red  eyes — light 
blue  in  the  iris — and  a  ruddy  complexion,  and  looks  much  older 
than  she  is.  What  is  perfectly  beautiful  about  her,  is  her  throat, 
her  hands,  and  her  arms,  which  are  very  white  and  well  formed." 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  429 

any  account  whatever,  and  I  leave  her  absolute 
mistress  of  her  Household.  She  would  be  capable 
of  more  difficult  and  important  matters  than  that." 
This  fresh  mark  of  Louis  xiv's  affection  doubt- 
less served  to  console  the  Duchess  de  Bourgogne, 
to  some  extent,  for  the  disillusionment  she  was 
experiencing  over  her  new  sister-in-law,  who,  so 
far  from  showing  any  gratitude  to  the  princess 
who  had  done  so  much  to  promote  her  marriage, 
had  promptly  gone  over  to  the  Meudon  faction. 
However,  in  the  early  spring  of  1711,  a  tragic  event 
occurred,  which  broke  up  the  cabal,  and  freed  the 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  from  all  apprehensions 
concerning  her  future  position. 


Illness  and  death  of  Monseigneur — Scene  at  Versailles  on  the 
night  of  his  death — Grief  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne — Funeral  of 
Monseigneur — The  Due  de  Bourgogne  becomes  Dauphin — Division 
of  Monseigneur' s  property — Mile,  de  Choin — The  Duchesse  de 
Bourgogne  is  accorded  honours  usually  reserved  for  a  Queen — 
The  Due  de  Bourgogne,  encouraged  by  the  dispersal  of  the  cabal 
and  the  confidence  which  the  King  shows  in  him,  takes  his  natural 
place  in  society — His  extraordinary  popularity — His  antipathy 
to  the  theatre — His  projects  of  reform — Change  in  the  conduct  of 
the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne — Her  devotion  to  France — "  I  shall 
be  their  Queen  !  " 

WITH  the  exception  of  a  short,  but  rather 
alarming  illness  in  Lent  1701,  occasioned  by 
the  consumption  of  an  abnormal  quantity  of 
fish,  Monseigneur,  who  was  now  in  his  fiftieth  year, 
had  since  childhood  enjoyed  the  most  robust  health, 
and  nothing  seemed  more  certain  than  that  he 
would  outlive  the  King,  who  had  aged  considerably 
of  late,  and  upon  whom  the  fatigues  and  anxieties 
of  State  were  beginning  to  weigh  very  heavily. 
However,  it  was  ordained  otherwise. 

On  April  8 — the  Wednesday  in  Easter  Week — 
Monseigneur  left  Versailles  for  Meudon,  where 
he  intended  to  pass  some  days.  He  was  accom- 
panied by  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne,  who, 
however,  returned  in  the  evening.  On  the  way, 
they  met  a  priest,  who  was  carrying  the  Host  to 
a  sick    person,    and,    alighting    from   their   coach, 

knelt  down  to  adore.     They  then  questioned  the 


A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  431 

priest,  and  were  told  that  the  Sacrament  was  being 
taken  to  a  man  who  was  lying  dangerously  ill  of 
small-pox,  which  was  very  prevalent  just  then. 
Now,  Monseigneur  had  already  had  the  disease 
but  at  so  early  an  age,  and  in  so  mild  a  form,  that 
he  was  not  considered  proof  against  a  second  attack, 
and  he  was  terribly  afraid  of  it.  The  answer  he 
received  made  him  very  uneasy,  and  in  the  evening 
he  observed  to  Boudin,  his  chief  physician,  that 
he  should  not  be  surprised  if  he  were  to  have 
small-pox  himself. 

On  the  following  morning,  he  rose  early,  with 
the  intention  of  going  wolf-hunting,  but,  while 
dressing,  was  seized  with  a  sudden  feeling  of 
faintness,  and  fell  back  into  a  chair.  Boudin, 
who  was  at  once  summoned,  made  him  go  to  bed 
again,  and,  of  course,  caused  the  King  to  be  in- 
formed. But,  though  his  patient's  temperature 
was  alarmingly  high,  he  expressed  the  opinion  that 
there  was  no  cause  for  uneasiness ;  and  Louis  xiv, 
concluding  that  the  illness  was  but  a  slight  one — 
perhaps  another  attack  of  indigestion — did  not 
think  it  necessary  to  visit  his  son,  and,  in  fact, 
spent  the  afternoon  at  Marly.  The  Due  and 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne,  however,  at  once  started 
for  Meudon,  and  remained  all  day  in  the  sick-room, 
"  the  princess  joining  to  the  strict  duties  of  a 
daughter-in-law  all  that  her  kindness  could  suggest, 
and  giving  everything  to  Monseigneur  with  her 
own  hands."  In  the  evening,  they  returned  to 

Next  morning,  Monseigneur  was  much  worse, 
and  the  nature  of  his  malady  could  no  longer  be 
doubted.     Louis  xiv,  who  had  never  had  any  fear 

432  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

of  exposing  himself  to  infection,1  set  out  for  Meudon 
immediately  after  Mass,  accompanied  by  Madame 
de  Maintenon  and  a  small  suite,  having  previously 
forbidden  the  Due  and  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne, 
and  all  persons  who  had  not  had  small-pox,  to 
follow  him  thither,  with  the  exception  of  the 
Ministers,  who  received  orders  to  come  every 

At  Meudon,  the  King  installed  himself  in  a 
suite  of  rooms  immediately  above  Monseigneur, 
whom  he  visited  several  times  a  day,  but  never  at 
the  same  time  as  Mile,  de  Choin,  who  shared  the 
nursing  of  the  sick  man  with  the  Princesse  de 
Conti,  Madame  la  Duchesse,  Madame  d'Espinoy 
and  Mile,  de  Lillebonne,  all  of  whom  happened 
to  be  at  Meudon  at  the  time  when  Monseigneur 
had  been  taken  ill,  and  had  been  permitted  by  the 
King  to  remain. 

At  Versailles,  meanwhile,  the  most  intense 
excitement  prevailed  ;  the  apartments  of  the  Due 
and  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  could  not  contain  the 
people  who  flocked  thither,  many  of  whom  be- 
longed to  the  Meudon  faction  and  had  hitherto 
held  aloof  from  the  young  couple,  but,  in  view  of 
the  serious  condition  of  Monseigneur,  were  now 
feverishly  anxious  to"  conciliate  the  prince  who, 
in  a  few  hours'  time,  might  be  Dauphin  of  France. 
When  the  prince  and  princess  rose,  when  they 
retired  to  bed,  when  they  dined  and  supped,  all 
public  conversation,  all  meals,  all  assemblies,  were 
opportunities  of  paying  court  to  them.     The  Due 

1  Madame  de  Caylus  tells  us  that  when  Madame  la  Duchesse  was 
ill  with  small-pox,  at  Fontainebleau,  in  thejautumn  of  1684/Uhe 
King  insisted  on  visiting  her,  although  her  father-in-law,  the  Great 
Conde,  strove  by  main  force  to  prevent  him  entering  the  sick-room. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  433 

and  Duchesse  de  Berry  were  treated  almost  as  no- 
body.   It  was  like  the  first  gleamings  of  the  dawn."  l 

On  the  13th,  Monseigneur  seemed  better,  and 
insisted  on  receiving  a  deputation  which  the  fish- 
wives of  Paris,  with  whom  he  was  immensely 
popular,  had  despatched  to  Meudon  to  inquire 
how  he  was  progressing.  "  They  threw  themselves 
at  the  foot  of  the  bed,  which  they  kissed  several 
times,  and,  in  their  joy,  declared  that  they  would 
return  to  Paris  and  have  a  Te  Deurn  sung."  But 
Monseigneur,  who  appears  to  have  taken  a  serious 
view  of  his  condition  from  the  first,  told  them  that 
it  was  not  yet  time. 

In  point  of  fact,  on  the  morrow,  his  illness 
suddenly  took  a  turn  for  the  worse  ;  in  the  afternoon 
he  became  unconscious,  and  about  seven  o'clock  it 
was  seen  that  he  was  slowly  sinking.  But  Fagon, 
whom  Louis  xiv  had  brought  with  him  to  Meudon, 
and  who,  according  to  Saint-Simon,  had  obstin- 
ately opposed  Boudin's  suggestion  that  they  should 
call  in  another  opinion  from  Paris,  assured  the 
King  that  Monseigneur  was  in  no  immediate  danger, 
and  allowed  him  to  go  to  supper  in  complete  ignor- 
ance of  the  actual  state  of  affairs.  Just  as  he  was 
rising  from  the  table,  however,  the  physician 
appeared  and  told  him  that  the  prince  was  dying. 

The  King  immediately  hurried  to  the  sick-room, 
declaring  that  he  must  see  his  son  again  ;  but  was 
dissuaded  from  entering  by  the  Princesse  de  Conti, 
who  met  him  in  the  ante-chamber,  and  assured  him 
that  the  dying  man  could  recognise  no  one.  He 
accordingly  sat  down  on  a  sofa  in  an  adjoining  room, 
where  he  was  presently  joined  by  Madame  de  Main- 

1  Saint-Simon,  Mtmoires. 

434  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

tenon,  who  took  a  seat  beside  him  and  "  tried  to 
weep."  l  She  urged  him  to  return  to  Versailles,  as  he 
could  do  no  good  by  remaining,  but  he  refused  to 
move  and  stayed  where  he  was,  "  without  shedding 
a  tear,  but  shivering  and  trembling  from  head  to 
foot,"  2  until  the  end  came,  soon  after  eleven  o'clock. 
Then,  supported  by  Madame  de  Maintenon  and 
his  daughters,  he  descended  to  the  courtyard  and 
entered  his  carriage,  but  not  before  he  had  called 
Pontchartrain  and  told  him  to  inform  the  other 
Ministers  that  the  Council  would  meet  the  follow- 
ing day  at  Marly,  for,  even  at  such  a  moment  as 
this,  he  refused  to  neglect  the  duties  of  monarchy. 
As  he  drove  away,  a  crowd  of  Monseigneur's  officers 
lined  both  sides  of  the  courtyard,  on  their  knees, 
beseeching  him  to  have  compassion  upon  them,  as 
they  had  lost  all  and  must  die  of  hunger." 

There  are  few  more  graphic  pages  in  the 
Memoires  of  Saint-Simon  than  those  in  which  he 
has  described  the  scene  at  Versailles  that  April 
night,  when  the  news  arrived  that  the  Dauphin 
was  in  extremis  :  the  sudden  throwing  open  of 
doors ;  the  hurried  rising  and  dressing  of  those 
who  had  retired  to  bed ;  the  rush  of  ladies  in  their 
dressing-gowns  to  the  apartments  of  the  Duchesse 
de  Bourgogne  ;  the  departure  of  the  princess  to 
meet  the  King,  at  the  Orangery,  on  his  way  from 
Meudon  to  Marly  ;  her  return  with  the  news  that 
all  was  over  ;  the  "  sobs,  cries,  nay,  even  yells  " 
of  the  Due  de  Berry,  to  whose  nose  his  wife  kept 
holding  a  bottle  of  smelling-salts  ;    the  "  furious," 

1  Saint-Simon,  MSmoires. 

*  Letter  of  Madame  de  Maintenon  to  the  Princesse  des  Ursins, 
April  16,  1 7 1 1 ,  in  GefTroy. 

A    ROSE  OF  SAVOY  435 

but  far  from  disinterested,  grief  of  that  lady  ;  the 
Due  de  Bourgogne  seated  on  a  sofa,  "  weeping 
the  tears  of  nature,  religion,  and  patience  "  ;  the 
duchess  sitting  by  his  side  and  endeavouring  to 
console  him,  "  which  was  a  less  difficult  task  than 
that  of  appearing  herself  in  need  of  consolation  "  ; 
the  apparition  of  Madame  in  full  Court  costume — 
she  tells  us  herself  that  she  never  possessed  a 
robe  de  chambre — among  the  ladies  en  deshabille, 
11  flooding  them  all  with  her  tears  and  making  the 
chateau  resound  with  her  cries "  ;  *  the  varied 
emotions — hope,  despair,  rage,  satisfaction — which 
showed  themselves  on  the  faces  of  the  courtiers  ; 
and  the  groans  and  tears  of  Monseigneur's  servants, 
"  in  despair  at  the  loss  of  a  master  who  seemed  to 
have  been  expressly  created  for  them." 

At  length,  the  worthy  Beauvilliers,  whose  coun- 
tenance was  absolutely  impassive,  though  his  joy 
must  have  been  as  great  as  that  which  his  friend 
does  not  hesitate  to  confess,  suggested  that  it  was 
time  that  the  bereaved  princes  were  left  to  them- 
selves ;  and  the  Court  retired  to  rest,  or  rather  to 
speculate  on  the  changes  that  must  shortly  take 
place,  since  Saint-Simon  tells  us  that  no  one  closed 
an  eye  all  night. 

Although  the  late  Dauphin  had  never  at  any 
time  had  much  affection  for  his  eldest  son,  and  of 
late  years,  thanks  to  the  machinations  of  the  cabal, 
had  come  to  regard  him  with  a  dislike  which  he  was 
not  always  at  pains  to  conceal,  the  Due  de  Bourgogne, 

1  And,  only  the  previous  day,  according  to  the  chronicler,  she 
had  had  a  long  conversation  with  him,  in  which  she  did  not  attempt 
to  conceal  her  disappointment  at  the  news  that  Monseigneur's 
illness  had  taken  a  favourable  turn,  and  that  he  6eemed  likely  to  get 
over  it. 

436  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

as  the  testimony  of  his  contemporaries  and  his  own 
letters  prove,  was  much  affected  by  his  father's 
death,1  and  was  unwell  for  some  days  afterwards. 

The  duchess,  on  the  other  hand,  could  scarcely  be 
expected  to  feel  any  sorrow  for  the  death  of  the  man 
who  had  permitted  himself  to  be  made  the  pawn 
of  the  faction  which  had  so  nearly  contrived  to 
ruinjher  husband,  and  the  prospect  of  whose 
succession  to  the  throne  she  had  regarded  with  the 
gravest  apprehension.  According  to  Saint-Simon, 
she  "  found  extreme  difficulty  in  keeping  up  appear- 
ances," and  she  must  have  been  greatly  relieved 
when  she  was  no  longer  required  to  simulate  grief. 

Owing  to  the  infectious  state  of  the  body  of 
the  deceased  prince,  the  honours  which  would 
otherwise  have  been  rendered  to  him  were  dis- 
pensed with,  and,  on  the  evening  of  the  15th, 
the  coffin  was  placed  in  one  of  his  own  carriages, 
and  followed  by  another  containing  the  Due  de  la 
Tremoille,  one  of  the  Gentlemen  of  the  Chamber, 
the  Bishop  of  Metz,  Monseigneur's  chief  almoner, 
the  Marquis  de  Dreux,  Grand  Master  of  the  Cere- 
monies, and  one  of  the  almoners  of  the  King,  and 
escorted  by  twelve  guards,  a  few  footmen,  and 
twenty-four  of  the  King's  pages  bearing  torches,  con- 
veyed to  Saint-Denis,  and  lowered  into  the  royal 
vault,  without  any  ceremony.  "  Voild  ou  se  termine 
toute  grandeur  /"  observes  Madame  de  Maintenon.2 

Few    more    singular   illustrations   of   the   vital 

1  Madame  de  Maintenon,  writing  on  April  16  to  the  Princesse 
des  Ursins,  describes  him  as  "  benumbed,  pale  as  death,  speaking 
not  a  word,  and  raising  his  eyes  to  Heaven." 

2  Letter  to  the  Princesse  des  Ursins,  April  16,  171 1.  The 
solemn   obsequies,    however,    were   celebrated   at   Saint-Denis   on 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  437 

importance  attached  to  questions  of  etiquette 
at  the  Court  of  Louis  xiv  are  to  be  found  than 
the  fact  that,  on  the  very  morrow  of  his  only  son's 
death,  the  King  considered  it  necessary  to  summon 
his  Ministers  to  a  conference,  in  order  to  decide 
upon  the  future  title  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne. 
The  main  question  at  issue  was  whether  he  was 
to  bear  the  title  of  Dauphin,  which  belonged, 
strictly  speaking,  to  the  eldest  son  of  the  sovereign, 
and  not  necessarily  to  the  heir-apparent  to  the 
throne,  or  that  of  Monseigneur,  which  was  that 
which  his  father  had  always  borne,  although  no 
one  seemed  quite  to  know  how  the  practice  of 
calling  him  thus  had  originated.  All  present 
were  of  opinion  that  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  should 
take  the  title  of  Dauphin,  in  preference  to  the 
other,  which  Louis  xiv  now  declared  ought  never 
to  have  been  used.  It  was  also  decided,  though 
not  until  after  a  good  deal  of  discussion,  that  the 
new  Dauphin  was  to  be  referred  to  as  "  Mon- 
sieur le  Dauphin,"  addressed  in  letters  as 
"  Monseigneur  le  Dauphin"  and  in  conversation 
as  "  Monsieur"  The  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne 
would,  of  course,  be  referred  to  as  "  Madame  la 

Louis  xiv  offered  his  grandson  the  magnificent 
pension  of  50,000  livres  a  month  which  Mon- 
seigneur had  enjoyed  as  heir-apparent.  But  the 
prince  declined  it,  observing  that  he  was  quite 
content  with  the  12,000  livres  which  he  already 
possessed,    and    asked    that    the    vacant    pension 

June  18,  and  at  Notre-Dame  on  July  3,  on  both  of  winch  occasions 
the  Due  de  Bourgogne  wore  a  mourning  mantle,  the  train  of  which 
was  twelve  ells  long. 

438  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

might  be  applied  to  the  needs  of  the  State — an 
act  of  disinterestedness  which  greatly  pleased 
the  public.  The  King  attached  to  the  new 
Dauphin's  person  the  menins  of  Monseigneur  and 
the  same  number  of  guards  which  that  prince 
had  had  ;  and,  from  motives  of  kindness  rather 
than  from  any  other  reason,  the  duke  took  into 
his  service  a  number  of  his  father's  old  servants. 
His  Household  and  entourage  were  thus  consider- 
ably increased,  but,  in  other  respects,  he  continued 
to  live  very  much  as  he  had  done  during  Mon- 
seigneur's  lifetime. 

With  the  exception  of  his  two  estates  of 
Meudon  and  Chaville,  both  of  which  he  had  in- 
herited from  la  Grande  Mademoiselle,  and  a  valu- 
able collection  of  gems  and  curios,  Monseigneur 
had  left  little  behind  him.  The  landed  property 
fell  to  the  share  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne,  while 
the  gems  and  curios  were  divided  between  the 
King  of  Spain  and  the  Due  de  Berry ;  but  part  of 
the  collection  had  to  be  sold  to  defray  the  deceased 
prince's  debts,  which  were  considerable. 

Monseigneur  does  not  appear  to  have  made  any 
provision  for  Mile,  de  Choin,  but  this  was  no 
doubt  in  accordance  with  that  lady's  own  wishes, 
since,  some  three  years  before,  when  he  had  pro- 
posed to  bequeath  her  a  considerable  part  of 
his  property,  and  had  actually  executed  a  will 
to  that  effect,  she  had  persuaded  him  to  destroy  it. 
After  her  husband's  death,  she  withdrew  to  Paris, 
where  she  lived  in  retirement  for  the  rest  of  her  days. 
The  King  granted  her  a  pension  of  12,000  livres, 
which  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  endeavoured, 
but  unsuccessfully,  to  persuade  him  to  increase. 

A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY  439 

The  new  rank  of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne 
was  marked  by  several  important  changes  in  the 
etiquette  of  her  everyday  life.  During  the  life- 
time of  Monseigneur,  the  Dues  de  Bourgogne 
and  de  Berry  had  been  on  a  footing  of  equality, 
and,  when  the  latter  married,  the  same  honours 
had  been  accorded  to  his  wife  as  to  the  Duchesse 
de  Bourgogne.  Now,  however,  that  the  elder 
brother  had  become  heir  apparent  to  the  Crown, 
Louis  xiv  decided  that  the  difference  in  their 
respective  positions  and  that  of  their  wives  must  be 
clearly  defined,  and  directed  that  at  the  Dauphin's 
lever  the  Due  de  Berry  should  hand  him  his  shirt, 
and  that  at  the  Dauphine's  toilette  the  Duchesse 
de  Berry  should  hand  her  her  chemise.  The 
Due  de  Berry  raised  no  difficulty  about  this, 
but  his  wife  was  furious  at  the  idea  of  being  thus 
publicly  placed  in  a  position  of  inferiority  to  her 
sister-in-law,  and  vowed  that  nothing  should 
induce  her  to  undertake  what  she  stigmatised 
as  a  menial  service,  and  that,  if  her  husband 
consented  to  so  debase  himself,  she  should  hold 
him  henceforth  in  the  most  supreme  contempt. 
The  poor  prince,  after  vainly  endeavouring  to 
bring  her  to  a  more  reasonable  frame  of  mind, 
had  recourse  to  the  good  offices  of  the  Due 
d' Orleans,  who  eventually  succeeded  in  per- 
suading his  daughter  to  submit  to  the  orders  of 
the  King,  though  it  was  not  until  several  days 
later  that  the  young  lady  condescended  to  present 
herself  at  the  Dauphine's  toilette  and  perform  the 
duty  required  of  her.  The  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne, 
who  desired  to  live  at  peace  with  her  sister-in-law, 
prudently   refrained    from    any   remark   upon   the 


latter 's  absence  on  previous  occasions,  and  "  acknow- 
ledged her  services  with  all  the  grace  imaginable 
and  all  the  most  natural  marks  of  affection."  1 

Not  content  with  directing  that  the  new 
Dauphine  should  be  accorded  all  the  honours 
which  belonged  to  that  rank,  Louis  xiv  decided 
that  she  should  also  enjoy  several  of  those  which 
had  hitherto  been  reserved  for  the  Queens  of 
France,  and  that  when  she  dined  au  grand  convert, 
she  should  be  served  in  precisely  the  same  manner 
as  Maria  Theresa.  In  fact,  during  the  few  months 
of  life  that  remained  to  her,  the  Duchesse  de 
Bourgogne  seems  to  have  been  queen  in  every- 
thing but  the  name. 

And  the  change  in  the  outward  position  of 
the  young  couple  was  accompanied  by  an  inner, 
personal  change,  which,  in  the  case  of  the  Due  de 
Bourgogne,  was  as  astonishing  as  it  was  gratifying. 
The  death  of  Monseigneur  and  the  consequent 
dispersal  of  the  cabal  of  Meudon,  removed  the 
most  blighting  influence  on  the  young  prince's 
life,  and  one  which  had  been  responsible,  indirectly, 
as  well  as  directly,  for  much  of  his  unpopularity. 
So  long  as  his  father  lived  and  the  cabal  flourished, 
it  was  impossible  for  him  to  be  otherwise  than 
timid  and  constrained  in  public,  aware  as  he  was 
that  he  was  surrounded  by  enemies  ever  on  the 
watch  to  catch  him  tripping,  to  turn  his  smallest 
indiscretion  to  account.  This,  joined  to  his 
studious  and  devotional  habits,  had  combined  to 
inspire  him  with  a  positive  distaste  for  social 
intercourse,  and  prevented  him  from  taking  his 
natural  part  in  the  life  of  the  Court. 

1  Saint- Simon,  MSmoires.^ 

A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY  441 

But  now  he  need  fear  no  more.  There  was 
no  longer  a  prince  in  the  prime  of  life  and  robust 
health  between  him  and  the  throne  ;  his  foot 
was  already  on  its  highest  step,  and,  in  the  natural 
course  of  events,  a  few  years — perhaps  a  very 
few — would  see  him  ascend  it.  His  enemies  had 
melted  away ;  in  their  places  he  beheld  only 
obsequious  friends  ;  what  had  been  sneered  at 
as  the  intolerance  of  a  bigot,  was  now  belauded 
as  the  virtue  of  a  saint  ;  what  had  been  ascribed 
to  poltroonery,  was  now  attributed  to  prudence 
and  foresight  ;  the  Court  hastened  to  bow  down 
before  its  coming  master. 

And  it  was  not  only  in  the  attitude  of  the  Court 
that  he  saw  a  change.  The  King,  who,  since  the 
unfortunate  campaign  in  Flanders  had  been  some- 
what cold  in  his  manner  towards  his  eldest  grandson, 
at  once  began  to  treat  him  with  marked  gracious- 
ness.  Grieved  though  he  had  been  by  the  death 
of  Monseigneur,  he  knew  that  his  own  loss  had 
been  an  immeasurable  gain  to  France,  who  would 
now  have  as  her  future  ruler  not  a  phlegmatic, 
indolent  prince,  with  no  taste  and  no  capacity  for 
government,  but  an  industrious  and  conscientious 
young  man,  who  had  already  shown  a  grasp  of 
affairs  far  beyond  his  years.  Louis  xiv  had  com- 
mitted colossal  errors,  for  which  France  had  paid 
dearly  and  was  to  pay  more  dearly  still,  but  no 
one  will  attempt  to  deny  that,  according  to  his 
narrow  lights,  he  had  performed  his  public  duties 
unflinchingly,  and  sincerely  desired  the  welfare  of 
his  subjects  ;  and  it  was  an  immense  satisfaction 
to  him  to  reflect  that  the  heir  to  his  throne  possessed 
a  no  less  keen  appreciation  of  the  obligations  of 

442  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

kingship.  "  Here,"  said  he,  as  he  presented  the 
new  Dauphin  to  the  Assembly  of  the  Clergy,  "  is 
the  prince  who  will  soon  succeed  me,  and  who, 
by  his  virtue  and  his  piety,  will  render  the  Church 
still  more  flourishing,  and  the  kingdom  still  more 
happy."  x  And,  to  show  his  confidence  in  his 
grandson,  he  broke  through  all  the  traditions  of 
his  reign,  and  practically  admitted  him  to  a  share 
of  that  authority  which  he  had  hitherto  so  jealously 
guarded,  by  "  ordering  the  Ministers  to  work  with 
the  Dauphin  whenever  sent  for,  and,  whether  sent 
for  or  not,  to  make  him  acquainted  with  all  public 
affairs."  2 

In  circumstances  so  favourable,  the  Due  de 
Bourgogne  rapidly  acquired  that  ease  and  con- 
fidence in  social  intercourse,  the  absence  of  which 
his  well-wishers  had  so  long  deplored.  Instead 
of  shutting  himself  up  in  his  cabinet,  he  mingled 
freely  in  the  life  of  the  world  about  him,  and  lost 
no  opportunity  of  making  himself  acquainted  with 
his  future  subjects.  Instead  of  being  timid  and 
reserved  in  conversation,  he  spoke  easily  and 
naturally  to  every  one,  and  gained  all  hearts  by  his 
good-humour,  courtesy,  and  tact.  "  One  beheld," 
writes  Saint-Simon,  "  this  prince  diffident,  un- 
sociable, self-centred,  a  stranger  in  his  own  house, 
embarrassed  everywhere,  become  little  by  little 
easy,  dignified,  gay,  agreeable,  presiding  over  the 

1  Dangeau. 

8  Saint-Simon.  The  writer  represents  the  Ministers  as  "  be- 
wildered "  by  this  order  and  "  unable  to  hide  their  astonishment 
and  discomfiture."  But  his  hatred  and  contempt  for  these  "  mar- 
paux  de  I'tLtat  "  is  well  known  ;  and  it  seems  more  probable  that 
they  welcomed  the  opportunity  thus  afforded  them  of  ingratiating 
themselves  with  their  future  master. 




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A    ROSE   OF  SAVOY  443 

groups  gathered  about  him,  like  the  divinity  of  a 
temple,  who  receives  with  kindness  the  homage  to 
which  he  is  accustomed,  and  recompenses  the 
mortals  who  offer  it  with  his  kindly  regard." 

Now,  too,  the  fruit  of  the  years  of  earnest  study 
began  to  reveal  itself,  and  those  who  knew  him 
little  marvelled  at  the  wide  and  varied  knowledge 
which  he  had  acquired.  History,  politics,  science, 
finance,  he  discoursed  upon  them  all,  not  in  the 
manner  of  a  pedant,  but  in  a  light  and  pleasant 
way,  which  charmed  while  it  instructed ;  and 
people  sometimes  in  gathering  about  him  were 
less  anxious  to  pay  their  court,  than  to  listen  to 
the  conversation  of  a  man  so  cultured  and  widely 

The  prince's  popularity  increased  by  leaps  and 
bounds.  "From  the  Court  to  Paris,"  says  Saint- 
Simon,  "  and  from  Paris  to  the  depths  of  the  pro- 
vinces, his  reputation  flew  so  rapidly  that  the 
few  people  formerly  attached  to  the  Dauphin  asked 
one  another  if  they  could  believe  what  was  reported 
from  all  sides."  Saint-Simon,  however,  admits  that 
this  astonishing  change  in  public  opinion  was  "  not 
entirely  due  to  the  marvellous  qualities  of  the 
young  prince,"  and  that  a  natural  reaction  against 
the  hostile  feeling  towards  him  that  had  been 
excited  by  the  cabal,  and  the  hope  that  his  accession 
would  be  the  dawn  of  a  more  prosperous  era, 
largely  contributed  to  it. 

If  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  abandoned  the  almost 
cloistral  seclusion  in  which  he  had  hitherto  lived, 
it  must  not  be  supposed  that  he  relaxed,  to  any 
appreciable  extent,  the  severity  of  his  religious 
principles.     It    is    true    that    Madame,    writing   in 

444  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

May  1711,  declares  that  he  now  "  preaches  little," 
meaning  that  he  no  longer  endeavoured  to  persuade 
his  friends  to  look  at  matters  of  religion  from  his 
own  standpoint  ;  but  in  other  respects  there  was 
very  little  change.  He  still,  for  example,  regarded 
the  theatre  with  a  jaundiced  eye,  declined  to 
receive  a  deputation  from  the  Comedie-Francaise, 
and  refused  to  attend  a  State  performance  there, 
"  because  the  best  theatre  for  a  dauphin's  energy 
was  the  improvement  of  the  provinces."  "  But 
what  will  you  do  ?  "  said  Madame  de  Maintenon 
to  him  one  day,  "  when  you  become  the  master  ? 
Will  you  prohibit  operas,  comedies,  and  other 
plays  ?  Many  people  are  of  opinion  that,  if  they 
were  stopped,  their  place  would  be  supplied  by 
even  more  reprehensible  amusements."  "  I  should 
weigh  carefully  the  arguments  for  and  against,"  he 
replied.  "  I  should  examine  the  inconveniences, 
which  might  arise  in  either  eventuality,  and  then 
I  should  choose  the  course  which  would  entail 
the  least."  1  And  Proyart  gives  it  as  his  opinion, 
that,  if  he  had  come  to  the  throne,  he  would  only 
have  allowed  the  continued  existence  of  the  theatre, 
on  condition  of  "  reforming  it  on  the  model  of  the 
pieces  played  at  Saint-Cyr."  2 

We  shall  not  attempt  to  discuss  here  the  various 
projects  for  the  reform  of  Church  and  State  which 
have  been  attributed  to  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  : 
the  decentralisation  of  the  administration  by  the 
abolition  of  the  intendants  and  farmers  of  taxes ; 
the  summoning  of  the  States-General  and  the  Pro- 
vincial   Estates,    and    the    establishment    of   local 

1  Entretien  avec  Madame  de  Glapion,  in  Geffroy. 
3  Vie  du  Dauphin,  p&re  de  Louis  xv. 

A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY  445 

Councils  ;  the  restoration  of  the  great  nobles  to 
the  political  importance  of  which  Louis  xiv  had 
deprived  them — the  dream  of  Saint-Simon ;  a 
redistribution  of  clerical  benefices,  to  put  an  end 
to  the  scandalous  contrast  between  the  wealthy 
pluralist  and  the  poverty-stricken  parish  priest  ; 
the  rigorous  suppression  of  luxury  at  the  Court, 
which  should  thus  set  an  example  of  economy  to 
the  whole  country  ;  a  peaceful  policy  abroad,  and 
all  the  other  schemes  outlined  by  Fenelon  and 
Chevreuse  in  their  Plans  de  gouvernement,1  or  by 
the  Due  de  Bourgogne  himself  in  the  papers  which 
he  left  behind  him.2 

If  he  had  lived  to  ascend  the  throne,  would  he 
have  succeeded  in  regenerating  France,  and  in 
securing  by  wise  and  orderly  progress  what  was 
only  attained  at  the  cost  of  such  terrible  sacrifices  ? 
Or  had  the  canker  already  eaten  so  deeply  into  the 
roots  of  the  social  system,  that  nothing  but  the  re- 
volutionary knife  could  hope  to  destroy  it.  We  can 
only  conjecture.  Perhaps,  with  all  his  good  qualities 
and  all  his  good  intentions,  he  was  scarcely  the  man 
for  the  work  :  too  narrow  in  his  religious  views — 
the  toleration  of  Jansenists  or  the  recall  of  the 
Huguenots  formed  no  part  of  his  plans — to  appeal 
to  a  sceptical  age  ;  too  inclined  to  repose  confidence 
in  men  whose  virtues  were  far  superior  to  their 
abilities  ;  lacking  that  strength  of  character,  that 

1  Plans  de  gouvernement  concertos  avec  le  due  de  Chevreuse  pour 
etre  proposes  au  due  de  Bourgogne.  These  plans  were  drawn  up  at 
Chaulnes,  in  October  171 1,  and  are  often  spoken  of  as  "  les  Tables 
de  Chaulnes."  They  will  be  found  in  the  CEuvres  completes  de 
FSnelon  (edit.  185 1),  vol.  vii. 

a  Some  of  these  documents  have  been  published  by  Proyart,  in 
his  Vie  du  Dauphin. 

446  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

fixity  of  purpose,  which  alone  would  have  enabled 
him  to  triumph  over  the  opposition  of  the  more 
conservative  elements  in  the  nation. 

What  is  certain,  is  that  he  would  have  shown 
himself  the  most  virtuous  king  since  Saint-Louis, 
and  that  his  exemplary  private  life  would  have 
strengthened  the  moral  authority  of  royalty  as 
much  as  his  son's  unbridled  licentiousness  did  to 
destroy  it.  And  who  can  refuse  to  believe  that 
that  son  would  have  been  a  very  different  king 
had  he  had  the  advantage  of  such  a  father's  training 
and  example,  instead  of  being  exposed  from  child- 
hood to  the  enervating  influences  which  were  to 
prove  his  ruin  ?  The  Due  de  Bourgogne  might 
not  have  averted  the  Revolution,  but  he  would  at 
least  have  averted  the  excesses  which  accompanied 
it ;  he  might  not  have  saved  the  Monarchy,  but  at 
least  its  sun  would  not  have  gone  down  in  blood. 

And  in  his  efforts  to  give  practical  expression 
to  the  maxim  so  often  on  his  lips,  that  kings  exist 
for  the  sake  of  their  people,  and  not  people  for 
the  sake  of  kings,  he  would  have  found  in  his 
wife  a  loyal  supporter.  For  that  gradual  change 
in  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne's  outlook  on  life 
of  which  we  have  spoken  elsewhere  had  been 
undoubtedly  stimulated  by  the  change  in  her 
rank.  As  the  husband  had  succeeded  in  throwing 
off  the  timidity  and  constraint  which  had  been  so 
great  an  obstacle  to  his  popularity  and  influence, 
so  did  the  wife  recognise  that  the  time  had  now 
come  when  she  must  put  away  from  her  childish 
things  and  do  all  in  her  power  to  prepare  herself 
for  the  great  position  which  she  might  soon  be 
called  upon  to  fill.     The  grace,  dignity,  and  tact 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  447 

with  which  she  discharged  her  social  duties  de- 
lighted every  one.  "  Madame  la  Dauphine,  in 
taking  a  more  exalted  place/'  writes  Madame  de 
Maintenon,  "  becomes  more  courteous  and 
attentive  than  she  has  ever  been.  .  .  .  She  makes 
herself  adored  by  everybody." 

She  evinced,  too,  a  lively  and  intelligent 
interest  in  public  affairs,  and  particularly  in  the 
fortunes  of  the  war,  and  set  the  ladies  of  the  Court 
an  example  of  patriotism  worthy  of  all  imitation. 
"  Her  great  gaiety,"  writes  Madame  de  Maintenon 
again,  "  does  not  prevent  her  from  showing  great 
sympathy  in  trouble.  .  .  .  There  is  no  French- 
woman more  devoted  to  the  welfare  of  this  country 
than  she."  l 

An  instance  of  this  is  related  by  Dangeau. 

When,  on  August  6,  171 1,  the  Court  which  was 
then  at  Fontainebleau,  was  anxiously  awaiting 
news  of  Marlborough's  expected  attack  upon  those 
lines  which  Villars  had  boasted  would  prove  the 
English  general's  ne  plus  ultra,2  some  one  suggested 
to  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  that  she  should 
make  up  a  card-party.  "  Eh  !  "  she  exclaimed, 
"  with  whom  do  you  expect  me  to  play  ?  With 
ladies  who  have  their  husbands,  or  with  fathers 
who  have  their  children,  engaged  in  a  battle  which 
must  be,  according  to  all  appearances,  a  sanguinary 
one  ?  And  can  I  be  tranquil  myself  when  it  is  a 
question  of  a  State  affair  of  the  greatest  import- 
ance ?  "     And,  sending  for  her  carriage,  she  drove 

1  Letter  to  the  Princesse  des  Ursins,  January  11,  1712,  in 

'  There  was  no  engagement,  Marlborough,  by  a  brilliant  man- 
oeuvre, completely  outwitting  Villars  and  gaining  the  position  he 
desired  without  firing  a  shot. 

448  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

along  the  high-road  to  Paris,  to  meet  any  courier 
who  might  be  on  his  way. 

She  certainly  knew,  however,  how  to  make  up 
for  the  self-denial  she  imposed  upon  herself  at 
moments  when  she  considered  that  amusements 
were  out  of  place,  as  the  following  extract  from  a 
letter  of  Madame  de  Maintenon  to  the  Princesse 
des  Ursins  will  show  : 

"  Madame  la  Dauphine  takes  the  most  lively 
interest  in  so  joyful  a  subject  [the  prospect  of 
peace]  ;  she  revels  in  it  to  its  fullest  extent.  She 
intends  to  do  something  on  the  day  that  peace  is 
concluded  that  she  has  never  done  before,  and  will 
never  do  again  ;  but  she  has  not  yet  decided  what 
it  shall  be.  In  the  meanwhile,  she  is  going  to  the 
Te  Deum  at  Notre-Dame ;  to  dinner  with  the 
Duchesse  du  Lude,  in  a  beautiful  brand-new 
house  ;  then  to  the  Opera  ;  to  sup  with  the  Prince 
de  Rohan,  in  that  magnificent  Hotel  de  Guise  ; 
then  to  cards  and  a  ball,  which  will  last  all  night, 
and,  as  the  hour  of  her  return  will  be  that  of  my 
waking,  she  proposes  to  breakfast  with  me  on 
arriving.  I  think,  Madame,  that  you  would  find  such 
a  day  rather  long,  in  spite  of  all  its  pleasures."  * 

Louis  xiv  was  more  than  usually  gloomy  and 
thoughtful  during  that  visit  to  Fontainebleau, 
for  the  news  from  Flanders  was  bad  and  the 
negotiations  for  peace  made  no  progress ;  and  even 
the  efforts  of  the  Dauphine  were  sometimes  power- 
less to  charm  away  his  melancholy.  One  evening 
in  September,  when  she  had  been  "  jabbering  all 
kinds  of  nonsense  and  indulging  in  a  hundred 
childish  pranks  in  order  to  amuse  him,"  she  caught 
sight  of  her  two  enemies,  the  Princesse  de  Conti 

1  Letter  of  November  30,  171 1,  in  Geffroy. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  449 

and  Madame  la  Duchesse  exchanging  disdainful 
glances.  The  Dauphine  waited  until  the  King 
had  gone  into  an  adjoining  room  to  feed  his  dogs, 
which  he  did  regularly  every  evening,  and  then, 
catching  hold  of  her  friend  Madame  de  Saint- 
Simon,  with  one  hand,  and  of  Madame  de  Levis, 
another  of  her  favourites,  with  the  other,  she 
said  to  them  :  "  Did  you  see  them  ?  Did  you 
see  them  ?  I  know  as  well  as  they  do  that  there 
is  no  common  sense  in  what  I  have  done  and  said, 
and  that  it  is  ridiculous,  but  he  requires  rousing, 
and  those  kind  of  things  amuse  him."  And, 
leaning  on  the  arms  of  the  two  ladies,  she  began 
to  skip  about  and  dance,  exclaiming  :  "  Ha !  I  laugh 
at  them.  Ha !  I  mock  at  them !  I  shall  be 
their  Queen,  and  I  have  nothing  to  do  with  them, 
either  now  or  at  any  time.  They  will  have  to 
reckon  with  me,  and  I  shall  be  their  Oueen." 
Madame  de  Saint-Simon  and  Madame  de  Levis, 
much  shocked,  tried  to  prevail  upon  her  to  be 
silent,  but  until  the  King  returned,  she  continued 
dancing  and  singing  :  "  Ha  !  I  mock  at  them  ! 
I  have  nothing  to  do  with  them  !  I  shall  be 
their  Queen  !  " 

"  Alas  !  "  observes  Saint-Simon,  who  relates 
this  anecdote,  "  she  believed  it,  this  charming 
princess,  and  who  did  not  share  her  belief  "  * 

1  On  the  other  hand,  Madame  declares  that  the  Duchesse  de 
Bourgogne  was  convinced  that  her  end  was  near.  "  A  learned 
astrologer  of  Turin,"  she  writes,  "had  predicted  to  Madame  le 
Dauphine  all  that  would  happen  to  her,  and  that  she  would  die  in 
her  twenty-seventh  year."  .  .  .  While  Madame  le  Dauphine  was  still 
in  good  health,  she  often  said  :  "  Well,  I  must  enjoy  myself,  because 
I  cannot  enjoy  myself  long,  for  I  shall  die  this  year."  Where  the 
Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  is  concerned,  however,  Saint-Simon's  testi- 
mony is  always  to  be  preferred  to  Madame' s. 


Letters  of  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  to  her  mother — The 
princess  in  very  weak  health — Her  illness  and  death — Grief  of 
the  Court — The  Due  de  Bourgogne  goes  to  Marly — A  touching 
scene — His  interview  with  the  King — His  illness  and  death — 
The  lying  in  state  of  the  Due  and  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne — 
Their  bodies  are  conveyed  to  Saint-Denis — Death  of  the  Due  de 
Bretagne — Suspicions  of  poison — The  snuff-box  of  the  Due  de 
Noailles — Accusations  against  the  Due  d'Orleans — The  probable 

TWO  of  the  few  letters  written  by  the  Duchesse 
de  Bourgogne  to  her  mother  which  have 
been  preserved  prove  that,  at  the  close 
of  171 1,  the  young  princess  was  in  very  bad  health, 
which  is  not  surprising,  since  the  autumn  had 
been  a  very  wet  one,  and  the  whole  country  around 
Versailles  was  flooded  : l — 


"Versailles,  December  13,  1711 
It  is  sad,  my  dear  mother,  that  my  brother 
and  I  have  the  same  sympathy  in  toothache. 
I  hope  that  he  has  not  had  it  as  badly  as  I  had 
last  night  ;  it  made  me  suffer  terribly,  though  I 
am  rid  of  it  for  the  moment.  For  more  than  two 
months  it  has  seized  me  from  time  to  time.  I  have 
ceased  taking  precautions  against  it,  for  keeping 
my  room  does  me  no  good;  and,  during  the  time 
that  I  am  not  in  it,  I  do  not  think  of  it,  and  am 

1  "  Floods  surround  us  on  all  sides.  For  a  month  it  has  rained 
every  day  and  all  night  too." — Madame  de  Maintenon  to  the  Prin- 
cesse  des  Ursins,  November  30,  171 1. 


A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  451 

always  hopeful  that  it  will  not  return.  I  merely 
avoid  the  wind  in  my  ears,  and  eating  anything 
which  may  make  it  bad.  I  believe  that  the  dreadful 
weather  is  largely  responsible  for  these  inflamma- 
tions .  .  ." 

"  Versailles,  December  18,  1711 
"It  is  in  order  not  to  miss  a  week  in  assuring 
you  myself  of  my  affection,  that  I  am  writing 
to-day.  For  the  last  seven  days  I  have  been, 
my  dear  mother,  in  a  state  of  great  exhaustion, 
which  has  prevented  me  from  dressing,  for  the 
inflammation  which  I  had  in  my  teeth  has  spread 
over  my  whole  body.  I  am  scarcely  able  to  move, 
and  my  head  feels  a  dreadful  weight. 

"  I  wished  to  anticipate  the  first  day  of  the 
year,  by  offering  to  all  my  family  the  good  wishes 
that  I  desire  for  them  ;  but,  since  I  am  unable 
to  do  so,  I  content  myself,  my  dear  mother,  with 
embracing  you  with  all  my  heart."  x 

From  the  correspondence  of  Madame  de  Main- 
tenon,  it  would  appear  that  this  toothache  and 
rheumatism  became  less  severe  just  before  the 
New  Year;  but,  a  few  days  later,  the  writer  men- 
tions that  the  Dauphine  had  had  "  an  attack  of 
fever,"  and  that  "  the  courtiers  had  been  in  a 
state  of  consternation,  and  had  talked  only  about 
the  irreparable  loss  she  would  be  to  them."  2 

1  Gagniere,  Marie  A  delai'de  de  Savoie  :  Lettres  et  Correspondances. 

2  Letters  of  December  28,  171 1,  and  January  11,  1712.  In  the 
latter  letter,  Madame  de  Maintenon  draws  a  picture  of  the  enviable 
position  occupied  by  the  Dauphine,  which,  in  view  of  the  tragedy 
which  was  so  close  at  hand,  is  invested  with  a  pathetic  interest  : 
"  She  has  reason  to  be  happy  ;  she  is  happily  married,  much  be- 
loved by  the  King  and  the  Dauphin,  and  is  assuredly  the  delight 
of  the  Court.  The  people  love  her  much,  because  she  lets  herself 
be  seen  very  readily  ;   and  she  has  the  most  pleasing  children  that 

452  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

The  rainy  autumn  had  been  followed  by  a 
severe  winter.  A  malignant  type  of  measles — 
called  by  the  Faculty  "  rougeole  pourpre  " — broke 
out  both  in  Paris  and  at  Versailles,  and  claimed 
many  victims,  among  them  the  young  Marquis 
de  Gondrin,  eldest  son  of  the  Due  d'Antin,  and 
one  of  the  Dauphin's  menins.  On  January  18, 
the  Dauphine,  who  was  suffering  severely  from  a 
swollen  face,  accompanied  the  Court  to  Marly. 
On  her  arrival,  she  felt  so  ill  that  she  went  to  bed 
at  once  ;  but,  on  learning  that  the  King  wished  her 
to  be  present  in  the  salon,  she  rose  at  seven  o'clock, 
and  played  cards,  as  usual,  "  en  deshabille  and 
with  her  head  wrapped  up."  l  When  the  card- 
party  broke  up,  she  went  to  Madame  de  Main- 
tenon's  apartments  to  talk  to  the  King,  as  was  her 
custom,  after  which  she  went  back  to  bed,  where 
she  supped.  On  the  morrow,  she  did  not  rise  till 
the  evening,  when,  in  spite  of  the  pain  she  was 
suffering,  she  again  made  her  appearance  in  the 
salon  and  at  Madame  de  Maintenon's.  On  the 
20th  she  was  better,  and  during  the  remainder  of 
the  visit  lived  her  ordinary  life.  But  there  can 
be  little  doubt  that,  by  so  doing,  she  severely  taxed 
her  strength  and  rendered  herself  particularly 
liable  to  infection. 

On  February  i,  the  Court  returned  to  Versailles, 
and  on  the  evening  of  Tuesday  the  5th  the  Dauphine 
had  a  fresh  attack  of  fever.  Nevertheless,  she  rose 
at  her  ordinary  hour  and  passed  the  day  as  usual. 

she  could  possibly  desire,  less  handsome  than  yours,  but  very 
strong,  and  perfect  pictures  ;  graceful  like  herself,  and  displaying 
much  intelligence." 

Everything,  in  a  word,  save  health  ! 

1  Saint-Simon. 

A   ROSE  OF  SAVOY  453 

In  the  night  of  the  6th  to  7th,  the  fever  increased, 
but,  as  the  following  day  was  a  Sunday,  she  rose 
and  attended  Mass.  At  about  six  in  the  evening, 
she  was  seized  with  "  a  sharp  pain  under  the 
temple,  which  did  not  extend  to  the  dimensions 
of  a  ten-sous  piece,"  ■  but  was  so  violent  that  she 
was  obliged  to  beg  the  King,  who  was  coming  to 
see  her,  not  to  enter. 

This  excruciating  pain  continued  all  that  night 
and  until  the  late  afternoon  of  the  following  day, 
and  was  proof  against  tobacco  chewed  and  smoked, 
a  quantity  of  opium,  and  two  bleedings  in  the  arms. 
11  She  has  convulsions,"  writes  Madame  de  Main- 
tenon  ;  "  she  screams  like  a  woman  in  childbirth, 
and  with  the  same  intervals."  2 

As  the  pain  subsided,  the  fever  increased. 
Mareschal,  the  King's  surgeon-in-ordinary,  bled 
her  in  the  foot,  but  she  passed  all  the  9th  in  a 
semi-comatose  condition,  which  greatly  puzzled 
the  doctors.  Towards  evening,  a  rash  broke  out, 
and  Boudin,  her  own  chief  physician,  pronounced 
her  to  be  suffering  from  measles.  But  during  the 
night  the  rash  disappeared,  the  fever  increased, 
and  the  doctors  were  more  puzzled  than  ever. 
Bleeding  in  the  foot  was  again  tried,  but  without 
effect,  nor  did  better  fortune  attend  the  adminis- 
tration of  a  powerful  emetic,  which  operated  "par 
en  haut  et  par  en  bas,"  s  but  brought  no  relief. 

1  Saint-Simon.  Madame  de  Maintenon  describes  it  as  "  a 
fixed  pain  between  the  ear  and  the  upper  end  of  the  jaw  "  ;  adding : 
"  the  place  of  the  pain  is  so  small  that  it  could  be  covered  by  a 

2  Letter  of  Madame  de  Maintenon  to  the  Princesse  des  Ursins, 
February  7,  17 12,  in  Geffroy. 

3  Sourches,  Memoives. 

454  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

In  the  course  of  the  ioth,  the  Dauphin,  who 
had  refused  to  move  from  his  wife's  side  for  three 
days  and  nights,  save  for  a  short  walk  in  the  gardens, 
which  he  had  only  been  induced  to  take  by  the 
King's  express  orders,  was  observed  to  be  looking 
very  ill,  but  this  was  attributed  to  the  strain  which 
he  was  undergoing  and  aroused  no  anxiety. 

During  the  night  of  Wednesday  to  Thursday, 
the  patient  was  several  times  delirious,  and  she 
appeared  so  near  death,  that  it  was  thought  advisable 
that  she  should  confess.  Accordingly,  Pere  de  la 
Rue,  her  Jesuit  confessor,  "  whom  she  had  always 
appeared  to  like  very  much,"  approached  the  bed 
and  exhorted  her  not  to  delay  her  confession. 
"  She  looked  at  him,"  says  Saint-Simon,  "  replied 
that  she  quite  understood  him,  and  then  remained 
silent.  Like  a  sensible  man,  he  perceived  what 
was  in  her  mind,  and,  like  a  good  man,  at  once  told 
her  that  if  she  had  any  objection  to  confess  to 
him,  he  begged  her  not  to  constrain  herself, 
but  only  to  tell  him  whom  she  desired,  and  he 
would  himself  go  and  bring  him."  The  Dauphine 
thereupon  mentioned  M.  Bailly,  one  of  the  mission- 
aries of  Saint-Lazare,  who  had  charge  of  the  parish 
of  Versailles,  "  a  man  much  esteemed,  but  not 
altogether  free  from  the  suspicion  of  Jansenism," 
who  was  the  directeur  of  her  dame  du  fialais  Madame 
de  Nogaret  and  several  very  devout  ladies  of  the 
Court.  Pere  Bailly,  however,  happened  to  have 
gone  to  Paris,  on  learning  which  the  princess 
asked  for  Pere  Noel,  a  Franciscan,  whom  the  Jesuit 
hastened  to  bring  to  the  sick-room.  This  change 
of  confessors,  Saint-Simon  declares,  created  a  great 
sensation,  and  was  generally  regarded  as  a  repudia- 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  455 

tion,  not  so  much  of  Pere  de  la  Rue,  as  of  the 
Order  which  he  represented. 

Meanwhile,  the  Due  de  Bourgogne,  who  had 
concealed  his  own  illness  so  long  as  he  could,  in 
order  to  remain  at  his  wife's  bedside,  had  broken 
down,  and  when  on  the  arrival  of  Pere  Noel  every 
one  withdrew  from  the  room,  the  King  and  the 
doctors  persuaded  him  to  retire  to  his  own  apart- 
ments, where,  however,  they  only  succeeded  in 
keeping  him  by  concealing  the  gravity  of  the 
princess's  condition. 

The  Dauphine's  confession  finished,  the  last 
Sacraments  were  administered,  Louis  xiv  going  to 
the  foot  of  the  grand  staircase  to  meet  the  Host, 
and  conducting  it  to  the  door  of  the  sick-room.  The 
princess  received  them  with  great  piety,  and 
observed  to  Madame  de  Maintenon,  "  Ma  tante, 
I  feel  quite  another  person ;  it  seems  to  me  that  I 
am  altogether  changed."  She  was,  however,  very 
uneasy  about  her  debts,  and  wanted  to  see  her 
husband,  in  order  to  speak  to  him  about  them  ; 
but  the  King  had  given  orders  that  the  Dauphin 
was  not  to  be  allowed  to  return.  Madame  de 
Maintenon  contrived  to  quiet  her,  by  the  assur- 
ance that  the  prince  would  see  that  they  were 
discharged  as  soon  as  possible.1 

Although  the  doctors  had  not  yet  abandoned 
hope,  and  had  refused  to  permit  the  prayers  for 
the  dying  to  be  read,  the  patient  herself  was  under 
no  such  illusion,  and  asked  that  her  ladies  might 
be  sent  for,  in  order  that  she  might  bid  them 
farewell.     But  to  the  King,  who  came  to  see  her 

1  Mile.  d'Aumale,  Souvenirs  sur  Madame  de  Maintenon,  published 
by  MM.  Hanotaux  and  d'Haussonville. 

456  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

several  times  during  the  day,  she  said  nothing 
which  might  lead  him  to  suppose  that  she  believed 
her  end  to  be  at  hand,  telling  Madame  de  Maintenon 
that  "  she  feared  to  grieve  him." 

In  the  evening,  seven  doctors  of  the  Court  and 
Paris  met  in  consultation,  in  the  presence  of 
Louis  xiv  and  the  ex-Queen  of  England,  who  had 
come  over  from  Saint-Germain.  It  was  decided 
to  bleed  the  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  again  in  the 
foot,1  and,  if  this  failed,  to  give  an  emetic  early 
the  following  morning.  Neither  remedy  had  any 
effect,  and  in  the  afternoon  of  the  12th  she  became 
unconscious,  and  it  was  recognised  that  the  end 
could  only  be  a  matter  of  hours.  As  a  last  resource, 
a  quack  remedy  was  administered,  which  brought 
her  back  to  consciousness  for  a  few  minutes,  during 
which  she  recognised  Madame  de  Maintenon. 
1  Madame,  you  are  going  to  God,"  said  Madame  de 
Maintenon.  "  Out,  ma  tante"  replied  the  Dauphine.2 
These  were  her  last  words,  for  immediately  after- 
wards she  lapsed  into  insensibility,  and  at  a  quarter 
past  eight  in  the  evening  breathed  her  last. 

A  few  minutes  before  the  princess  expired,  Louis 
xiv,  who  had  been  in  and  out  of  the  sick-room  all  day, 
entered  his  coach  at  the  foot  of  the  grand  staircase, 
and,  accompanied  by  Madame  de  Maintenon  and 
Madame  de  Caylus,  drove  away  to  Marly.  "  They 
were  both  in  the  most  bitter  grief,  and  had  not  the 
courage  to  go  to  the  Dauphin."  3 

With  some  few  exceptions,  such  as  the  odious 

1  Saint-Simon  says  that  all  were  in  favour  of  this,  but,  according 
to  Sourches,  two  of  them  protested  against  it. 

2  Mile.  d'Aumale,  Souvenirs  sur  Madame  de  Maintenon,  published 
by  MM.  Hanotaux  and  d'Haussonville. 

3  Saint-Simon. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  457 

Duchesse  de  Berry,  whom  Saint-Simon  represents 
as  "  transported  with  joy  at  seeing  herself  de- 
livered from  a  powerful  rival,"  their  grief  was 
shared  by  the  whole  Court,  and  Madame  de  Caylus 
undoubtedly  expressed  the  general  feeling  when 
she  wrote  two  days  later,  for  Madame  de  Maintenon, 
to  the  Princesse  des  Ursins  :  "  Tout  est  mort  id, 
Madame ;  la  vie  en  est  dtee.  This  princess  gave 
life  to  everything,  and  charmed  us  all.  We  are 
still  stupefied  and  stunned  by  our  loss."  1 

"  With  her,"  says  Saint-Simon,  "  departed  joy, 
pleasure,  and  everything  gracious  ;  and  darkness 
brooded  over  the  Court.  She  had  been  its  life, 
and,  if  it  survived  her,  it  was  only  to  languish. 
Never  was  princess  so  regretted  ;  never  was  one 
more  worthy  of  regret." 

Great  as  was  the  grief  of  Louis  xiv  and  Madame 
de  Maintenon,  it  was  trifling  in  comparison  with  the 
anguish  of  the  bereaved  husband.  He  remained, 
however,  outwardly  calm,  and  showed  the  fortitude 
which  might  have  been  expected  from  a  man  of 
his  intense  religious  convictions  ;  but,  in  reality, 
he  had  received  a  shock  which  must  have  largely 
contributed  to  the  fatal  termination  of  the  disease 
which  already  had  him  in  its  grip. 

As,  after  the  death  of  Monseigneur,  he  had 
moved  into  his  father's  apartments,  and  his  bedroom 
was  immediately  below  that  of  the  Dauphine,  his 
friends  persuaded  him  to  follow  the  King  to  Marly, 
in  order  to  spare  him  the  sounds  from  the  death- 
chamber,  where,  after  the  autopsy  always  per- 
formed  on   members   of    the    Royal   Family   had 

1  Geffroy,    Madame    de   Maintenon    d'apris    sa   correspondance 

458  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

taken  place,  the  body  of  his  wife  would  be  em- 
balmed and  coffined.  At  seven  o'clock  on  the 
morning  of  the  13th,  he  was  carried  in  a  chair — 
for  he  was  too  weak  to  walk — to  his  carriage  and 
was  driven  to  Marly.  Learning,  on  his  arrival, 
that  the  King  was  not  yet  awake,  he  had  himself 
carried  to  the  chapel  to  hear  Mass,  and  then  to 
his  own  apartments,  where  etiquette  obliged  him 
to  receive  visits  of  condolence  from  the  Princes 
and  Princesses  of  the  Blood  and  a  number  of  other 
persons.  Several  of  those  who  came  were  loud 
in  their  condemnation  of  the  doctors  who  had 
attended  the  Dauphine,  and  declared  that  their 
treatment  had  killed  her,  which  was  probably 
true.  "  Whether  the  doctors  have  killed  her, 
or  whether  God  has  called  her,"  replied  the  Due  de 
Bourgogne,  "  we  must  adore  equally  what  he 
permits,  and  what  he  decrees." 

When  Saint-Simon  presented  himself,  he  was 
aghast  at  the  change  which  had  come  over  the 
Dauphin  since  he  had  last  seen  him.  "  His  eyes 
had  a  strained,  fixed  expression,  with  something 
wild  about  it  "  ;  and  he  also  noticed  "  numerous 
marks,  livid  rather  than  red,  upon  his  face." 
It  was  evident  that  he  was  sickening  for  the  same 
complaint  as  his  wife. 

''The  Dauphin  was  standing"  he  continues. 
"  A  few  moments  later,  they  came  to  tell  him 
that  the  King  was  awake.  The  tears  he  had 
hitherto  restrained  began  to  flow.  He  turned 
round,  said  nothing,  and  remained  motionless. 
His  three  merlins  suggested,  once  or  twice,  that  he 
should  go  to  the  King.  He  neither  answered 
nor  stirred.     I  approached  and  signed  to  him  to 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  459 

go  ;  then  spoke  to  him  to  the  same  effect.  Finding 
that  he  did  not  respond,  I  ventured  to  take  his 
arm,  representing  that,  sooner  or  later,  he  must 
see  the  King,  who  was  expecting  him,  and  that 
it  would  be  more  gracious  not  to  defer  his  visit ; 
and  with  that  I  gently  pushed  him  towards  the 
door.  He  gave  me  a  look  that  pierced  my  heart, 
and  went  out.  I  followed  him  a  few  steps,  and 
then  withdrew  to  recover  myself.  I  never  saw 
him  again.  May  God  in  His  mercy  grant  that 
I  may  see  him  eternally,  in  that  place  where  His 
goodness  had  doubtless  placed  him  ! " 

The  interview  between  the  two  men  who,  each 
in  his  different  way,  had  loved  the  dead  princess 
so  tenderly,  was,  as  might  be  supposed,  a  very 
touching  one.  Few  words  were  spoken,  for  the 
grief  of  both  was  too  great  for  speech.  The  King, 
however,  was  much  alarmed  at  the  appearance  of 
his  grandson,  as  indeed  was  every  one  at  his  lever, 
and  ordered  the  doctors  who  were  present  to 
feel  his  pulse.  They  at  once  recommended  him 
to  go  to  bed  ;  and  the  King  ordered  him  to  follow 
their  advice.     He  obeyed,  and  never  rose  again. 

We  shall  not  relate  the  progress  of  the  Dauphin's 
illness,  which  was  marked  by  "  the  most  incompar- 
able submission  and  love  of  God  "  on  the  part  of  the 
poor  prince,  and  by  the  most  complete  impotence 
on  the  part  of  the  doctors,  who,  finding  themselves 
in  the  presence  of  the  same  symptoms  which  had 
confronted  them  in  the  illness  of  the  Duchesse  de 
Bourgogne,  and  mindful  of  the  failure  of  the 
remedies  which  they  had  then  employed,  seemed 
afraid  to  do  anything.  Early  on  the  17th,  his 
condition  was  seen  to   be   hopeless;    at   midnight 

46o  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

the  last  Sacraments  were  administered,  and  at  a 
little  after  eight  on  the  following  morning  the 
end  came. 

"France,"  says  Saint-Simon,  "succumbed  be- 
neath this  last  chastisement.  God  had  shown 
her  a  prince  whom  she  did  not  deserve.  The 
earth  was  not  worthy  of  him."  And  he  adds, 
"  He  was  already  ripe  for  eternal  bliss." 

No  one  who  cares  to  read  the  touching  account 
of  the  last  moments  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne 
left  by  his  confessor,  Pere  Martineau,1  will  be  in- 
clined to  question  this  last  statement. 

After  the  autopsy  and  the  embalming  had 
been  performed,  the  body  of  the  Dauphin  was 
transported  to  Versailles,  and  laid  beside  that  of 
his  wife,  on  a  state  bed  in  the  Dauphin's  grand 
cabinet.  Here  they  lay  in  state  for  three  days, 
guarded,  on  the  right,  by  the  menins  of  the  Dauphin 
and,  on  the  left,  by  the  dames  du  palais  of  the 
Dauphine,  and  by  four  bishops,  two  on  either 
side  of  the  coffins.  All  the  Princes  and  Princesses 
of  the  Blood  passed  in  procession  before  the  coffins 
and  sprinkled  them  with  holy  water. 

On  the  evening  of  the  23rd,  the  two  coffins, 
covered  by  a  pall  embroidered,  on  the  right  with 
the  Arms  of  France,  and  on  the  left  with  those  of 
Savoy,  were  transported  in  great  state  to  Saint- 
Denis.  Although  it  was  after  midnight  when 
the  cortege  entered  Paris,  by  way  of  the  Porte 
Saint-Honore,  the  streets  were  lined  by  an  immense 
crowd,  which,  however,  maintained  the  most  perfect 
order,  and  scarcely  a  voice  was  heard,  save  those 
of  the  monks  of  the  various  convents  on  the  way, 

1  Recueil  des  Vertus  du  due  de  Bourgogne  et  ensuite  Dauphin. 

A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY  461 

who  came  with  lighted  tapers  to  chant  the  De 
profundis  as  the  funeral  car  passed  by.  Saint- 
Denis  was  reached  towards  six  the  next  morning, 
and  the  coffins  formally  entrusted  to  the  abbot. 
For  forty  days  they  lay  in  the  church,  covered  by 
the  same  pall,  and  were  then  lowered  into  the 
royal  vault.1 

Death  had  not  yet  finished  taking  toll  of  the 
Royal  House.  At  the  beginning  of  March,  both 
the  little  sons  of  the  Due  and  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne 
were  attacked  by  measles,  and  a  few  days  later  the 
Due  de  Bretagne  had  followed  his  parents  to  the 
grave.  His  brother,  the  Due  d'Anjou,  recovered, 
and  no  doubt  owed  his  life  to  the  good  sense  of 
his  gouvernante,  the  Duchesse  de  Ventadour,  who 
shut  herself  up  with  him  and  refused  to  allow  a 
doctor  to  enter  the  room. 

In  an  age  in  which  the  deaths  of  royal  and 
other  distinguished  persons  were  so  frequently 
attributed  to  poison,  and  in  a  Court  which  had 
not  forgotten  the  crimes  of  Brinvilliers,  the  investi- 
gations of  the  Chamber  Ardente,  and  the  suspicions 
which  the  death  of  the  first  Madame  and  that  of 
her  eldest  daughter,  Marie  Louise  d'Orleans,  Queen 
of  Spain,  had  excited,  it  was  only  to  be  expected 
that  the  sudden  and  almost  simultaneous  removal 
of  the  Due  and  Duchesse  de  Bourgogne  should 
have  given  rise  to  the  same  reports ;  and,  when  the 
two  little  princes  fell  ill,  in  their  turn,  and  the  elder 
died,  while  the  recovery  of  the  younger  was  ascribed 
to  an  antidote  which  Madame  de  Ventadour  had 

1  Mercure    de    France,    February,    1 7 1 2  ;    Sourches,    Memoir es  ; 
Dangeau,  Journal. 

462  A  ROSE  OF  SAVOY 

given  him,  few  people  doubted  the  existence  of  a 
conspiracy  to  destroy  the  whole  family  of  the  heir 
to  the  throne. 

Nor  can  it  be  denied  that  circumstances  were 
singularly  favourable  to  the  growth  of  such  sus- 
picions. During  the  visit  to  Marly  which  preceded 
the  Dauphine's  illness,  she  had  been  warned  by 
Boudin,  her  first  physician,  that  there  was  a  plot 
to  poison  both  her  and  her  husband ;  and,  on  the 
very  next  day,  the  Dauphin  had  received  a  similar 
warning,  in  a  letter  from  his  brother,  the  King  of 
Spain.  Boudin,  who  made  no  secret  of  his  informa- 
tion, declared  that  it  was  trustworthy,  though  he 
did  not  know  whence  it  came  ;  but,  as  Saint- 
Simon  very  pertinently  observes  :  "  If  he  did  not 
know  whence  it  came,  how  could  he  be  assured 
that  it  was  to  be  relied  upon  ?  As  for  Philip  v,  he 
likewise  asserted  that  his  information  was  reliable, 
though  he  did  not  mention  its  source. 

But  this  was  not  all,  for  at  the  autopsy  upon 
the  Dauphin,  and  again  upon  that  upon  his  wife, 
both  Fagon  and  Boudin  declared  emphatically  that 
death  was  due  to  poison. 

Mareschal,  on  the  other  hand,  was  equally 
positive  that  both  had  died  from  natural  causes, 
and  besought  the  King,  "  for  the  tranquillity  and 
prolongation  of  his  life,  to  dismiss  from  his  mind 
ideas  terrible  in  themselves,  false,  according  to  all 
his  experience  and  knowledge,  and  which  bred 
only  cares  and  suspicions  the  most  vague  and 
irremediable."  x 

The  news  of  the  dissensions  between  the  doctors 

1  Saint-Simon.     We  spare  our  readers  the  details  of  the  autop- 
sies, but  they  will  find  them  in  Saint-Simon.